Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A zoo in Oakland rescued a group of raccoons which were accidentally transported across the country in a moving van.
A man's truck was burglarized while he moved from Fort Myers, Fla. to Stinson Beach, Calif. allowing a pregnant raccoon to enter the vehicle and give birth to six baby raccoons who were unknowingly transported across the country, Oakland Zoo said in a news release.
The man discovered five of the six babies alive but in poor condition upon arriving in California in Sept. 2016 and contacted WildCare wildlife hospital and environmental education center to care for the stowaway raccoons.
"WildCare's primary goal is always to return our patients to a life in the wild. Our staff spent months raising these five raccoons with that objective," WildCare said. "Unfortunately after investigating every avenue possible it was determined that neither release here in California nor transporting them back to Florida would be legally possible due to Fish and Wildlife interstate regulations."
Oakland Zoo agreed to take in the raccoons on Nov. 23, 2016 after the California Dept. Fish & Wildlife determined they could be placed in a permitted facility following a 90-day quarantine period.
"We are so pleased to care for these wonderful, rambunctious raccoons during their 90 day quarantine here at Oakland Zoo's Veterinary Hospital," Dr. Karen Emanuelson of Oakland Zoo said. "It's a joy to help socialize the youngsters, whose journey so far has been quite remarkable! Thankfully they are doing very well, and we are hoping that their future is a happy and healthy one."
The raccoons are set to complete their quarantine on Feb. 23, 2017 and WildCare is still searching for a permanent home for the animals.