Mystery Beast Passes On: Rare Hairless Raccoon Unfortunately Died

Chris Jasurek
By Chris Jasurek
November 23, 2018US News

A strange, alien-looking animal turned up shivering under a car in Windermere, Florida on Nov. 16.

The homeowners managed to trap the sickly creature and brought it to the Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge in Orlando, Florida, the next day.

The creature defied all attempts at identification. The 6 pound quadruped looked like a Chihuahua crossed with a hairless rat—some people called it a  chupacabra, after a mythical Mexican monster.    

A mystery animal was found hiding under a car this past Friday evening, trying to stay warm. A volunteer of ours reached…

Back To Nature Wildlife Refuge 发布于 2018年11月19日周一

Debbie Helsel, Back to Nature’s executive director, told the Orlando Sentinel that the creature was, in fact a hairless raccoon. Helsel said the raccoon likely had either alopecia or a genetic mutation that made her hairless.

Staff at the Wildlife Refuge named the raccoon “Dobby,” after the house elf from the popular “Harry Potter” series of books and movies.  

Under some sedation, but also not in good health, our sweet girl is fighting (and hard) for her life. We are doing all…

Back To Nature Wildlife Refuge 发布于 2018年11月20日周二

Exposure and Infections

Dobby was not in good shape. Lacking a normal raccoon’s thick coat, she was susceptible to the occasional cold snap. Workers at the refuge diagnosed her with an infection and started her on a course of four different antibiotics.

The raccoon, said Debbie Helsel, looked to be about a year old. There were signs she had borne a litter of pups, as well.

At first the staff had hope that some loving care would help Dobby regain her health, but her condition worsened.

“We’re trying to get her back on track, but she is seriously depleted,” Helsel told the Sentinel on Nov 21. “I don’t know that she’s going to survive … but everybody else is really rooting for her.”

Helsel took the tiny creature to her own living room, where she wrapped the sedated animal in blankets and surrounded it with stuffed animals.

“She’s struggling, but she’s trying,” Helsel said.

Unfortunately, Dobby died in her sleep, on Nov. 22.     

We know you are all anxious to hear news about our sweet girl. And though we chose to remain hopeful and diligent with…

Back To Nature Wildlife Refuge 发布于 2018年11月22日周四

A Loss, but a Small Gain

In a Facebook post, the Wildlife refuge tried to find some bright side to Dobby’s demise.

“We couldn’t be more grateful for the chance to try to save her. And though we couldn’t save her, we will choose not to look at her passing as a failure, but as a small success,” the post stated.

“Her arrival to BTN’s doorsteps allowed us the opportunity to share her beauty with you all. She brought so much awareness to not only her condition, but to her species (often looked as a nuisance), and to the refuge and our mission. For that, we are truly grateful.”

The nonprofit Back To Nature Wildlife Refuge has been operating since 1989, following as its Prime Directive the “Four Rs”: “Rescue, Raise, Rehabilitate, and Release of Central Florida’s injured and orphaned native wildlife,” its website says.

The refuge aids some 2,500 to 3,000 lost or injured animals each year with its staff of one part-time and four full-time employees.

The refuge operates on a 20-acre plot of land of Orange County conservation land, managed by the Environmental Protection Division, near the Lake Nona neighborhood in southeast Orlando that was granted to the nonprofit in 2007.

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