Burned baby rac­coon dies un­ex­pect­edly

The Barrie Examiner - - FRONT PAGE - CH­ERYL BROWNE

A baby rac­coon that was set on fire last month has died at a shel­ter.

The tiny two- or three-month old rac­coon was found dead in her crate at din­ner-time by staff, said Pro­cyon Wildlife Shel­ter’s di­rec­tor, De­bra Spi­lar.

“She had been re­spond­ing well to treat­ment, but it could be her young lungs had in­gested too much of the lighter fluid,” Spi­lar said Tues­day af­ter­noon.

The rac­coon, named Phoenix Rose, was found by a Barrie woman near the Huro­nia North Park, near Big Bay Point Road, on Aug. 6.

It’s be­lieved the lit­tle rac­coon had been doused with lighter fluid and set on fire.

She suf­fered burns on her body, face, head, eye and inside her mouth.

Phoenix Rose was taken to the Pro­cyon shel­ter, 50 kilo­me­tres south of Barrie, and im­me­di­ately put on heavy-duty pain med­i­ca­tion, an­tibi­otics and med­i­cated oint­ments.

Barrie po­lice Const. Sarah Bam­ford said po­lice were sad­dened by the news of the young rac­coon’s death.

“She had proven to be a fighter while heal­ing from her in­juries, which we be­lieve to have been a di­rect re­sult of in­di­vid­ual(s) set­ting her on fire af­ter pour­ing an ac­cel­er­ant on her,” Bam­ford said. “This in­hu­mane act of an­i­mal cru­elty is un­for­giv­able and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing.”

To that end, the shel­ter hosted a booth at the Dog Tales Fes­ti­val in King City two weeks ago, hand­ing out fly­ers and ask­ing the pub­lic to spread the word about the shel­ter’s burn vic­tim and re­quest­ing tips lead­ing to the ar­rest of those who had harmed her.

The tiny rac­coon’s fate spread across the in­ter­net, said Spi­lar, adding the story had more than 26,000 views.

A con­test was held to name her, and a woman from the United States won by nam­ing her Phoenix Rose, Spi­lar added.

“We had hun­dreds and hun­dreds of peo­ple con­tact­ing us with well wishes and prayers,” Spi­lar said. “Even though it’s a rac­coon, no­body wants to wish any harm on any­thing so small like that.”

Po­lice are ap­peal­ing for any­one who has in­for­ma­tion to con­tact them at 705-725-7025, or to re­main anony­mous, con­tract Crime Stop­pers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or on­line at www.tip­sub­mit.com.

EX­AM­INER FILES

A baby rac­coon found se­verely burned in a south-end Barrie park has died.

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