Kelly Johnson loves outdoor activities. By day, she teaches people how to paint and writes a nature journal. But when she saw a blurry head pop out of her driveway, she couldn’t hide her surprise.
“I screamed, loudly, and I think we scared each other pretty good! Johnson recounted. “I wish someone was outside and saw me because they would have had a good laugh.”
The shocking visitor? A baby raccoon, who was all alone, living among Johnson’s outdoor furniture.
Johnson was worried about the lost little girl, who was far too young to be without her mum, but simultaneously so amazed to see such a lovely face up close.
“I was so scared,” Johnson said. “But also excited and thrilled because she was so ridiculously adorable!”
Johnson quickly came up with a name for his surprising guest.
“Stowaway,” Johnson says. “Because, she looked like a little stowaway.”
Since she is not an expert in handling wild animals, Johnson knew she would need help. She called the Wildlife Rescue Coalition of Northeast Florida and quickly help arrived.
“Barbara, one of the founders, called me back and talked to me about the situation and gave me advice,” Johnson said. “She was so helpful, so kind and so patient with me, because I had no idea what to do with my new visitor!”.
Animal handlers quickly arrived and were able to put little Stowaway in a carrier. At the end of the day, the raccoon was safe at the rescue coalition.
Johnson made a video about his experience with Stowaway here:
At the rescue centre, Stowaway was followed to make sure she was not sick. Then she was able to fit in with the other raccoons living there. Today, Stowaway is doing great and will return to the wild in a few weeks.
Ms Johnson considers herself lucky to have been able to help a baby animal. And Stowaway, who now has a second chance at life in the wild, certainly counts herself lucky too.