Elle–Guardian of Her Galaxy

My faithful readers and I have been on some wild rides together over the years.  From troubleshooting computer problems (that one ended with the sage advice to consult an expert) to discussing the proper way to cook eagle (that one started with “don’t”), every week is an adventure.  Heck, every day at Peace River Wildlife Center is an adventure.  We never know what will walk, crawl, slither, fly, or be carried through the door next.  But thanks to a recent experience I know what I hope to never see.

Some friends and I recently went to see Guardians of the Galaxy.  Ok, maybe not so much “friends” as my family, who will deign to be seen with me in public periodically, and one poor girl from work who I can only assume feared for her job if she declined my invitation.  I know I am no movie critic, but I feel imminently qualified to discuss this particular film because I am an expert on many aspects of it.  The stars are a machine gun wielding raccoon and an awesome 70’s music soundtrack.  There may have been one or two other characters in there as well, but they were pretty superfluous to the plot as I see it.

My husband and daughter generally spend two hours at an event like this pointing out that the hero’s cape is the wrong shade, the damsel’s hair is too short, and the villain’s voice is too manly.  (Or was it that the cape was too short, the hair the wrong shade and there were too many villains in one episode?)  Luckily for me I have never read a comic book—I always thought all those pictures got in the way of the story.  Coming in unfettered by expectations, I am there to be entertained.  And Guardians of the Galaxy did not fail me.  I laughed, I cried, I danced in my seat.  (Not necessarily in that order.)

Most of all, the movie serves as a warning to society.  Do not arm your raccoons with automatic weapons.  I might go so far as to say, don’t avail them of any fire power.  These are highly resourceful creatures and they do not need our assistance in the inevitable overthrow that will put their species in power over our own.  Or was that the apes?  Sometimes I get movie plots a little jumbled.  Planet of the Apes meets Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Smurfs.  (Spoiler alert)  They all have sentient animals brandishing weapons and blue people running amok.

One of my recent patients is the poster child for exactly why we do not want to give raccoons any more of an advantage.  A newborn raccoon was kicked out or fell from her den in a tree.  She was found to have an abdominal hernia that we attempted to repair via surgery with little hope of a positive outcome.  This baby was dubbed Elle due to the L-shaped scar on her belly.  Fast forward a few short weeks and Elle is thriving.  She has been weaned from the bottle and is eating out of a dish.  She and her adopted siblings have been moved to an outdoor habitat to get ready for release, and although she is a week younger than they are, she outweighs each of them.

If one tiny newly born member of this species can prove to be that resilient, I would hate to think what could happen if raccoons become proficient with firearms.  My advice is for everyone to go see Guardians of the Galaxy so we can all agree how vital it is that we keep our weapons out of their reach.  And to groove to some very catchy tunes.

by–  Robin Jenkins, DVM

Racoon baby pre-op
Elle pre-op
Baby raccoon post-op
Elle post-op
Elle 2 months after surgery
Elle 2 months after surgery