Outdoors: Baby raccoons

Jul 14, 2020

Wildlife habitat is a combination of food, water, shelter and space that meet the needs of wildlife. 

That definition can describe Kresge Auditorium, where, over the years, thousands of wild creatures have made their homes.

Bats and birds, chipmunks and squirrels have grown up in Kresege. 

But perhaps the most memorable was back in 1991. 

A young raccoon’s first venture into the New World was a bit of a downfall.

For this little creature, who fell from the rafters onto the stage during the July 10 Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert, this was hardly a premier appearance.

A litter of raccoons had been tottering up in the flyspace for several weeks.

Stage crew and campers had been enjoying their balancing act all summer.

The unscheduled appearance during the concert upset many in the audience, who worried that the little one was hurt.

This may sound heartless, but in wildlife, infant mortality is common and actually a good thing. 

If three to seven baby raccoons from each litter survived, we would have serious problems. And so would they.

Only the very smart, very coordinated and very gifted young raccoons survive to adulthood.

Still, we all were relieved when the little raccoon got up, gave itself a little shake and waddled off stage.  

I am always pleased when a youngster falls for classical music.