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Keep Wildlife Wild

A female raccoon will typically make her den in a tree cavity, but will sometimes occupy an attic or chimney, if accessible. Young raccoons, called kits, are born into litters of 2-6. Their eyes begin to open at about 3 weeks of age, and at 4 weeks teeth begin to erupt. At 6-8 weeks, raccoon kits are capable of walking, climbing and running and may begin to explore alternate den sites with their mother. Weaning occurs at 8-12 weeks, but the kits may remain with their mother until the following spring.

Tip: If you find a raccoon kit outside of its den and it appears to be sick, cold, weak, injured or still has its eyes closed, you should contact the DNR or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator immediately. If you find a seemingly healthy kit with its eyes open, and it's away from its den (e.g. on the ground) but not in immediate danger, watch from a distance to see if it climbs back up to its den or if its mother retrieves it. Unless the kit is still there after two hours, it should be left alone.

If raccoons have taken up residence in your attic, eaves or chimney, they can usually be forced to relocate by making the area less appealing to them. The mother will likely relocate the kits to another den site, carrying one baby at a time. This process may take multiple nights. Preventive measures are also needed to ensure that another raccoon will not occupy that space in the future, so be sure to securely close any possible points of entry and/or cap your chimney after the entire family has left.