The rhythmic sweeping sound coming from a large green dumpster got my attention. I’ve never seen anyone sweep out a dumpster, but why not? Bags of leaves were stacked outside the dumpster, so I thought someone must be cleaning it out.
I was at the boat ramp at Mullet Lake Park after spending the morning fishing on the St. Johns River with Ron Hight. When we had the boat back on the trailer, we walked over and looked into the dumpster to see what was going on. Two young raccoons had climbed in to feast on the bounty of trash and were now trapped, unable to climb back out. It was the clawing of one of the raccoons on the side of the dumpster that sounded like sweeping.
One of the raccoons hid under the trash, but the other stayed in the corner looking up at us. I couldn’t just leave him in there! What if the garbage truck came and dumped that container into the truck. I went to the back of the car and got a long-handled net, the one we had just used to land fish. With that net I scooped up the little guy and deposited him outside the dumpster. It was gratifying to know we had rescued a helpless animal in distress. As I watched him run to freedom in the nearby woods, I almost started humming a little tune from Bambi, but caught myself in time. Ron would never have understood.
I’d like to think the little guy learned his lesson and will never again climb into a dumpster, but I’m sure he was back inside that same dumpster the next morning. Having tasted the life of crime, he was probably hooked - so much tempting trash would be too much for a young raccoon to resist.
There’s only so much you can do!!