A baby raccoon that was severely burned in Barrie needs a name and the Procyon Wildlife Centre is asking for ideas.
"Absolutely! We were thinking that maybe people could put in suggestions and we could do sort of a contest or something," said Debra Spilar, one of the centre's directors.
"She has a case number but we have to name her because she's going to be with us probably about a year."
The little critter was found near Huronia North Park at Big Bay Point and Huronia Rd. on Sunday with severe burns to one side of her body, face, arms and belly.
It's believed a flammable liquid had been thrown on her.
A Barrie resident took the three-month-old raccoon to the Procyon Wildlife Centre in Beeton.
"She's looking better. She's responding not as angrily as she was before. When we first got her she would try to attack you and stuff so we had to use big gloves. We're putting ointment on her face and drops in her eyes," said Spilar.
"She's not fighting or struggling as much so I think the antibiotics and the painkillers that she's on are really helping her this way."
The raccoon is still in critical care and isolation to prevent infection but Spilar says she appears to be doing well and is hoping for a full recovery.
The tiny animal is not eating enough yet so volunteers have been dishing up Ensure, bananas, sweet potato, baby food and mashed pumpkin - a soft food diet because her mouth is burned.
Spilar says the raccoon was part of a litter of six that was in the area.
Barrie Police are trying to track down the person responsible.
"We have never seen such a case as this where something like this has been inflicted to an animal by a human. This is a first for us. It was devastating to all our volunteers. There's been many tears shed at our centre this week from seeing the condition this poor little baby has come in," said Spilar.
"Knowing that it's only a baby and it's helpless and that someone could do this to an animal."
The centre releases its babies in September to give them a good start before winter.
But this burned baby is too young and with such severe injuries there's no way she would be ready to be released this fall, Spilar said.
The raccoon will be assessed in April and if she's made a full recovery she'll go back into the wild.
The Procyon Centre is a non-profit organization run by volunteers and helped by vets who donate their expertise.
It cares for up to 1,000 animals a year.
"We do it for the love of animals," said Spilar.
A non-profit, Vancouver-based wildlife sanctuary, the Fur-Bearers, is offering up a $1,000 reward for tips leadng to the person responsible for the burns.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025, ext. 2926, [email protected] or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, leave an anonymous tip online at www.tipsubmit.com
Name suggestions can be submitted via the Procyon Wildlife's Facebook or its website /https://www.procyonwildlife.com/