baby raccoons

Baby raccoons were just born inside a shed in Mississauga and the photos are adorable

Two baby raccoons found inside a shed in Mississauga arrived much earlier than normal.

Gates Wildlife Control, a humane animal removal company, had a call for what was believed to be raccoons in a shelter set up for a feral cat.

Brad Gates, the owner of Gates Wildlife Control, tells blogTO the homeowner set up a large, insulated container in her backyard shed to help a feral cat survive the winter. But when she noticed the cat had moved to another shelter in the yard, she checked camera footage from inside the shed and saw what she thought was a raccoon. She then checked inside the shed.

"She heard the chittering of baby raccoons, which she thought was raccoon she wasn't 100 per cent sure,” Gates says. "She asked us just to come and verify it."

A company staff member went to take a look.

"We went out just to verify that, indeed, we had babies earlier than we ever have in our 37-year history," Gates says.

Before this, the earliest Gates found baby raccoons was in late February. The two babies look to be about a week old and Gates guesses the mother got pregnant sometime in November, much earlier than normal. Usually, there is a rush of babies born in April and May.

"It is not to say that there aren't other babies out there — it's only our experience," he says.

Gates speculates the reason for the early birth could be connected to two things — the pandemic and climate change. With less movement of people during the pandemic, more animals are out at different times than usual because it is quieter.

Also with milder winters, animals could be breeding at earlier.

"Global warming might give them biological cues that things are different in that sense."

He says the two babies are healthy and warm inside the well-insulated box. The homeowner plans to leave them alone and see if the family leaves on its own.

"I think she's going to probably outgrow that box because it wasn't very big," Gates says. "So I think potentially what would happen is that as the babies get bigger, she would relocate."

Raccoons and squirrels normally have multiple den sites as a survival strategy, he adds.

Lead photo by

Gates Wildlife Control

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