I saw one baby raccoon yesterday when I got home. He/she stumbled out of the woods, saw me, made that 'bleat' noise and beat a retreat. A wobbly retreat, but a retreat. The cat food I put out was gone -- did Baby eat it or not? Not sure.
I called the Wildlife Rehab center and they confirmed what I suspected: DO NOT HANDLE RACCOONS. Many of them carry a ringworm that's fatal to many animals and humans. It's in their poop and since coons aren't the tidiest of creatures, who knows where the poop is? Since the critter is still alive, there's a good chance it's been weaned but probably too soon (that is, Mom either abandoned it or got hurt and can't care for it). The Wildlife people and no humane society will come out to capture it. The DNR will come out to shoot it if it's obviously ill.
So I've compromised: I'll put a can of food out when the food disappears. I'll leave my shoes outside, use disposable gloves to touch any dishes, and generally fence off the area so the critter won't stray. If it lives, well, so be it. If not, well so be it.
In a perfect world, I could grab the baby, take care of it, and release it (sort of a Free Willy scenario). But I'm worried about disease, my pets, and my health. I'm willing to give Father Darwin a push, but not a shove, I guess.