sept unedited tahoe mt news story
By Kathryn Reed
Pumpkin is alive and well.
That’s the baby raccoon Ellan Scofield befriended after its mother scampered off with her other offspring and left the scrawny critter behind.
It is now with 19 other raccoons that Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care is caring for. They are all expected to be released next month outside of the basin.
Raccoons have made a comeback in Tahoe after a rash of deaths about ten years ago. Rehab center officials release raccoons where there is water, crawdads and other food sources.
Scofield wasn’t too happy her little wild raccoon baby was taken from her. She said she never intended to keep it forever. She boasts of having a natural touch when it comes to caring for wildlife.
A friend of hers called LTWC earlier this summer asking how to get rid of raccoons.
“We aren’t going to trap the mama. You need to harass the mama and get her to move the babies,” said Cheryl Millham, LTWC executive director.
Scofield said it worked to a point. One baby stayed behind. Millham said she never heard back from Scofield or her friend. But Millham did get word that Scofield was caring for the baby.
That’s a no-no. Under state law a person must have a permit from the California Department of Fish & Game to care for a wild animal. Scofield doesn’t have a permit. LTWC does.
DFG got wind of what was going on and showed up at Scofield’s door and took the animal. The animal was delivered to LTWC.
But it didn’t end there.
“About a month and a half later I was charged with possession of a raccoon. They were under the impression I went out and captured a wild one, which would not be too smart,” Scofield said.
When Scofield went to El Dorado County Superior Court the charges were dropped after she and the assistant district attorney talked.