NEWS

Brothers unknowingly both adopt raccoons

09/16/2011 10:55 EDT | Updated 11/16/2011 05:12 EST

Two P.E.I. brothers who recently discovered they had, unbeknownst to each other, each taken in orphaned baby raccoons, now face the difficult decision of letting the animals go.

Bill MacDonald of Stratford said when he found a baby raccoon left in a box outside the family business three months ago, he didn't know whether to nurse it back to health or let it die.

“So I took the cover off and there was a little baby raccoon, kind of on his last, you might say, in the box. So what were we to do with him?” said MacDonald.

MacDonald determined his mother had been killed by a car, so Rambo ended up at the home of MacDonald and his wife Joan.

Meanwhile, Rascal the orphaned raccoon was found across the road by Bill's brother Eric.

“I mean, what are you going to do? Just let him go get run over by traffic, killed by a coyote or whatever happens to be in the neighbourhood?” said Eric MacDonald.

But it was a week before the MacDonald brothers realized they were both caring for orphaned raccoon brothers.

Wildlife officials say it's illegal to keep wild animals as pets on P.E.I., including raccoons, which can carry parasites and disease.

“A cute, cuddly, small raccoon will become a large raccoon,” said Brad Potter of the provincial fish and wildlife department.

"Even a small raccoon is capable of delivering quite a bite.”

The MacDonalds said they will get rid of the animals eventually by releasing them in the wild. But they said neither they, nor the animals are quite ready.

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