‘Rambo’ the domestic raccoon may be released to family who raised him
Published Tuesday, April 10, 2018 4:26PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 10, 2018 10:33PM ADT
There is a chance ‘Rambo’ the domestic raccoon could be released to the Nova Scotia family who raised him.
The friendly raccoon was surrendered to Hope for Wildlife after the Department of Natural Resources attempted to seize the animal back in February.
Billy Holman, who owns a farm in East Uniacke, N.S., says a group of children found Rambo starving and helpless in a ditch last year.
Rambo became a regular at some local businesses and his public appearances caused a buzz on social media.
The family has since been fighting for permission to keep Rambo.
After assessing Rambo for the last six weeks, Hope Swinimer says she’s convinced the best place for him is back in Mount Uniacke, where he came from.
Swinimer says Rambo can live a long happy life, but the family has to let him roam and just be a raccoon.
“I think a soft release, right at the property of the caregivers… they led me to believe they would often let Rambo run free in the wooded area,” says Swinimer. “They're way out in the country, and I think it could work well.”
Swinimer says the family would have to agree to stop feeding the raccoon sweets and other ‘people food.’
With the goal of reintroducing Rambo into the wild, Swinimer says the family would also need to refrain from taking him for car rides and walking him on a leash with a collar.
The soft release is Swinimer's recommendation, but DNR will have the final say.
DNR tells CTV News that Rambo will be released shortly, but the exact location has yet to be determined.
Swinimer wants to remind the public that the lesson to be learned is that orphaned or abandoned baby animals should be promptly turned over to professionals. .
Swinimer says Hope for Wildlife will provide future vet care for Rambo if he needs it.
Swinimer says her primary concern is always the welfare of the animal, but notes DNR has to consider public safety as well.
“I had the easy job”, she says
It is illegal to own a wild animal in Nova Scotia.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.