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Hairless raccoon causes stir in Claremore

BY AARON CRESPO Modified: March 2, 2010 at 8:19 am •  Published: March 2, 2010
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CLAREMORE — A virtually hairless raccoon caught near the Dry Gulch USA camp has caused quite a stir for a Claremore animal rescue.

"This is the first time I’ve ever had a mange raccoon. The very first time I saw her she did look odd,” said Annette King Tucker, president at the Wild Heart Ranch in Claremore.

"She looks like a little demon. She’s freakish. But you look at the feet, and you look at the snout and eyes, and if you just focus on the skeletal structure, then it’s definitely, no question, a raccoon.”

Mange is common in dogs, but this is the first time workers have seen a raccoon with it, Tucker said. Mange is treatable and the raccoon isn’t in pain. Workers expect hair regrowth to start in 30 days and look normal in about four months.

The wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center north of Claremore was founded 14 years ago by Tucker and her partner, Sandy Brooks.

Jeremy Scheffel, a kitchen manager at Dry Gulch USA northeast of Pryor, first saw the raccoon this winter on the back porch of one of the buildings at the camp.

"I walked out down the back porch of one of the buildings, and I flipped on the light and I saw it fly off real quick,” said Scheffel, 20. "I kind of got a glance at it and I was like, ‘What was that?’”

Others at Dry Gulch, a Western-themed Christian camp, saw the creature. Sightings became more and more common and, when they caught it on Saturday, they struggled to identify it.