A raccoon named Rambo that was nursed back to health by a Hants County man is now under the care of Hope for Wildlife.

Billy Holman, who owns a farm in East Uniacke, N.S., says a group of children found Rambo starving and helpless in a ditch. After wildlife organizations said they’d euthanize the raccoon, Holman decided to care for him on his own.

The family says the Department of Natural Resources showed up to seize Rambo on Friday.

“Everybody’s distraught about this because this is our little pet," Holman says. “It's just been hard. I miss him a lot.”

The Department of Natural Resources says keeping wildlife as pets is illegal in Nova Scotia.

“For the good of the animal and the people involved, it is DNR’s advice and a legal requirement not to keep wildlife as pets. It is not healthy for wildlife and can be unsafe for people,” said Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Bruce Nunn in a statement to CTV News.

Hope Swinemar of Hope for Wildlife says it’s sad for both sides.

“It’s particularly sad for the animal because oftentimes it does not end up well for the animal in question,” she says.

Swinemar says that's because raccoons inevitably get aggressive as they mature.

After vaccinations, Rambo will be slowly introduced to other raccoons. But they’ll first have to determine whether the seizures he suffers have anything to do with his diet.

“I think the lesson is get them into a rehab facility if you find an orphaned or injured baby and let the people who are trained to do this do their job,” Swinemar says.

Swinemar believes there's a possibility Rambo could one day be returned to the Holmans, but only if the Department of Natural Resources decides that's the best place for him.        

“We're really, really hoping. They're not giving us 100 per cent answer on this neither,” Holman says.

For now, the Holmans are welcome to visit Rambo. But the family says that’s not making saying goodbye any easier.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.