It was finally time to retrieve the last collar from the April raccoon session, which was carried around by Sleepy Hollow the Raccoon. After collecting the latest GPS data, we set off to the park to find the collar. With the help of the last GPS locations, and the VHF beacon embedded in the collar, we went to a likely spot for the collar. Everything indicated that the collar was near, but we just could not see it.
We had to assume it was stuck in a tree out of sight… Trusting that it would storm, we left the collar a week to let the wind knock it down. But when we returned to the park, it was still hidden to us. We decided it had to be caught on a live oak limb or in palm fronds. We used a long grabber from the park to shake the branches but with no luck. Perhaps it was hidden in the palm tree? We tried throwing a coconut at the fronds, but only succeeded in getting that stuck as well (coconuts belong to palm tree anyway, right?).
A few days later we came back with a pair of binoculars, a ladder, and a 12-foot pole. We were finally able to spot the collar and knock it down! It had been caught several feet above the ground in the palm fronds after all. A palm tree does not seem like a comfortable spot for a raccoon, which makes us wonder how (and why) it got there.
Now all three collars from April have been sent back for refurbishment to be put back on raccoons in October, and we have two new collars on raccoons from July!