Researchers say raccoons are intelligent and have “ideas” and can solve problems. This gives them a human-like quality of curiosity. This abundant curiosity that raccoons have can sometimes get them into trouble. When raccoons are searching for food, they will try their hardest to reach any point necessary, or gain entry into an area they believe holds delicious food scraps.
Often times, dumpsters are a favorite choice for wild raccoons on the hunt for a fast dinner. They are excellent at gaining entry into dumpsters, but raccoons are not very good at making a dependable escape route. This is why so many are found trapped or isolated in empty dumpsters and large garbage receptacles.
They end up in these predicaments because dumpsters are not always full. And even though coons remember certain dumpsters they have raided in the past without any problem of exiting, these dumpsters are sometimes less-full or empty the next time they come around for food. And they certainly do not think before diving right in!
What to Do
When you see one stuck in a dumpster, do not panic. They can’t hurt you because they can’t even reach you! In fact, they are probably very scared and confused. You can expect the coon to hide in the corner with its nose pressed to the wall, or to ruffle their chest fur and hide their face inside. They almost behave in a way that indicates they’re embarrassed or ashamed. This makes you want to help them out even more!
To help a raccoon stuck in a dumpster, simply find something to place inside the receptacle that the animal can use to climb out. Be sure to keep your distance as soon as you place the item in the trash, and also be careful not to hit or harm the raccoon. Raccoons have great reach and can jump quite well, so if a dumpster is four feet deep, you will only need an item 2 feet tall or more to help the raccoon.
Try items like a milk crate, sturdy box, a wooden 2×4, a large tree branch, and even a couple full bags of garbage. Open the lid on the opposite side of the coon, place these items right next to the side of the receptacle, and then walk away calmly but quickly. If you remain nearby, the animal might not attempt an escape, or could possible attack you out of fear. An attack is not likely, but it is important to protect yourself no matter what the circumstance might be.