You can just imagine what the customs officer must have thought.
When a car racing to the U.S.-Canada border struck a raccoon during a speedy drive through Surrey on June 11, the occupants had no idea the critter became lodged in the grill of their car.
It was only when they reached the border that they were informed there was a foot hanging from their vehicle, according to the staff at Critter Care, a wild animal rescue and rehabilitation organization based in South Langley.
Border officers used a baton to dislodge what they presumed was a dead raccoon.
To their astonishment, the ornery raccoon was very much alive, and very grumpy.
Once freed from the grill, the feisty fur ball ran off into the bush separating the two countries at the international Peace Arch crossing.
The car, meanwhile, had to be towed away. It wouldn’t restart – presumably as a result of its high-speed encounter.
A staff member from Critter Care was called to help locate the injured raccoon, an adult male.
It took 45 minutes to track and find him – on the U.S. side of the line. The staff member had to be declared by the agents in order to re-enter Canada, along with the raccoon – dubbed ‘Douglas’, in honour of the Highway 99 border crossing where he was rescued.
Douglas suffered head trauma as a result of the collision, but after a week on medication, he was recovering nicely.
Douglas is one of the many animals that are rescued, restored to health, and rehabilitated at Critter Care each year.
Critter Care is once again asking visitors to take a walk on the wild side at its 8th annual Walk-a-thon Fundraiser, supporting the hundreds of orphaned and injured animals brought to the facility, including Douglas.
Critter Care specializes in the treatment, care and release of sick, injured and orphaned B.C. mammals, including skunks, porcupines, beavers, raccoons, coyote, deer, otter, bobcats, lynx, bears, opossums and squirrels.
It can cost $5,000 to feed one black bear cub for 18 months of care.
The organization relies on donations from the public and some community grants to operate. Food and specialized formula is expensive and fundraisers such as the walk-a-thon go a long way to help cover those costs.
The Oct. 2 walk is from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Campbell Valley Regional Park, Langley (South entrance of 8 Ave.).
Participants can check out exhibits featuring animal and environmental organizations, artisans and their wares, and enjoy the barbecue. Prizes will be awarded to top individual and group fundraisers.
Bring your canine companion, if you like. Dogs are welcome on leash.
To register, call Cathy at 778-255-5806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are 2 K and 4 K routes.
Early bird registrations are $10 before Sept. 25 and $15 after.