Kelly Johnson enjoys being outside. During the day, she teaches others how to paint and keep a nature diary. But she couldn’t disguise her amazement when she noticed a fluffy head poking out from the driveway.
“I yelled loudly, and I believe we both startled each other!” Johnson revealed in an interview. “I wish someone had seen me outside because they would have had a good laugh.”
The unexpected visitor? A newborn raccoon surviving alone among Johnson’s patio furnishings.
Johnson was both concerned for the missing little girl, who was far too young to be without her mother, and astounded to see such a lovely face up close.
“I was terrified,” Johnson said. “But I was also fascinated and eager because she was so outrageously gorgeous!”
Johnson quickly came up with a moniker for her unexpected houseguest.
“Stowaway,” Johnson said. “Because it looked like a small stowaway tucked up beneath that flower pot.”
Johnson realized she’d need assistance because she’s not an expert at dealing with wildlife. She contacted the Wildlife Rescue Coalition of Northeast Florida, and help was on its way.
“One of the founders, Barbara, phoned me back and spoke with me about the problem and provided me advise,” Johnson added. “She was incredibly nice, kind, and helpful to me because I had no idea what to do with my new guest!”
Animal handlers arrived quickly and were able to transport tiny Stowaway. The raccoon was safe at the rescue coalition at the end of the day.
Stowaway was watched at the rescue facility to ensure she wasn’t unwell. She was able to merge with the other raccoons that lived there after that. Stowaway is doing well today and will be released back into the wild in a few weeks.
Despite the fact that their narrative began with a squeal, Johnson feels herself fortunate to have had the opportunity to assist a tiny animal. And Stowaway, who now has a second chance at life in the wilderness, must count herself lucky as well.