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05-17-2012, 11:03 AM   #1
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This Is Too Cute....

This story makes Rupert and his squirrels look positively normal, laugh. These are smaller raccoons than here. Ours are twice this big. I love the pic of the one on the rug by itself though. Lovely expression on it's face.

Raccoons make themselves at home in human house in Lower Saxony, Germany | The Sun |News

05-17-2012, 12:49 PM   #2
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Aaa! Cute indeed. Those raccoons are usually a lot more trouble than that, but I love em.
05-17-2012, 01:47 PM   #3
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At first I thought this might be a story about wild critters invading through a pet door, and I have a perfect German pet door story at the other end of the cuteness scale. But it looks like these guys just use a window for access. Darn, I'll have to save my story for another time.
______________________________________________

EDIT-- What the hell, I'll tell it anyway. I saw this in the news a few years ago:

So this Bavarian had a bit too much fun at Oktoberfest and had difficulty getting into his home. Maybe he lost his keys. Anyway, he tried to crawl in through the pet-door in his front entrance. He got stuck. He passed out. Some passerby pulled his pants down. Some other passerby (or maybe more than one) inserted flowers into his butt. He was stuck there for three days. Finally, someone figured that he wasn't there voluntarily, and pulled him out. When questioned, neighbors said they thought it was just performance art.

Moral of the story: Beware of pet doors, especially in Bavaria.

Last edited by RioRico; 05-18-2012 at 02:06 PM.
05-18-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
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These are wild animals and should not be kept as pets. They are highly unpredictable and can turn on a human in an instant. Without a proper diet they can develop gout and gastrointestinal disorders.. Also, it's a good thing they do their business outside. Raccoon waste carries an enzyme which is deadly to humans.
I thought they made cute pets until I seen that posted.

05-18-2012, 02:40 PM   #5
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I don't find it all that strange. Of course Rupert doesn't seem particularly odd to me either.

Hmmmm Maybe I need help........................
05-20-2012, 12:40 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jogiba Quote
I thought they made cute pets until I seen that posted.
They aren't really 'pets' ever: under certain circumstances, they can be kind of adopted, at least for a while, but even if they imprint on people, they aren't really tame. (They're naturally more social when they're younger, for one thing) They can adapt to live *with* humans for more of their lives, but that's not the same. At least not yet. The way they're living in more urban environments is exactly how it's believed dogs and cats came to be among us, adapting to live in closer proximity, (It's likely in the raccoons' case they're also getting better at messing stuff up, but I suppose we'll see how that plays out. They're starting with their own whole different set of instincts and all. They're a little more like rats or my old skunk friends in some ways. Or even squirrels like Young Miss Boengsdottir: they can imprint at fairly young ages to one degree or another and/or have some advantages by being able to get closer than their more skittish/aggressive brethren.
05-20-2012, 01:46 PM   #7
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How 'wild' animal species become domesticated: They live in proximity with humans, imprinting at an early age. Timid ones avoid humans and miss out on free food. Aggressive ones are 'culled'. This process can be observed in places where un-owned canines wander the streets: Those that survive are those who don't bother people too much. The bothersome ones don't survive, not in human spaces. I've seen this in various Mediterranean and Central American villages. Kablooey!

Why 'wild' animal species become domesticated: They offer some payoff to the humans they live with. Cats eat pesty rodents; dogs provide warnings and eat garbage; bovines, goats, sheep etc provide milk, fur|skin maybe, and are eaten. Rabbits provide meat and fun. What is the payoff of domesticating raccoons? Is cuteness enough? Ferrets and parrots are cute too, and provide no other payoffs AFAIK, and aren't really mainstream pets. IMHO domesticated raccoons are a LONG way away.

05-20-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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A park ranger friend of mine raised 2 baby raccoons that had lost their mother to a car accident very early on near her home. She hand fed them until they were weaned then brought them to the nature trail where she worked about 2 miles off. For a couple of weeks she watched them in the trail getting used to the great outdoors then they vanished, she thought, into the far reaches of the nature park probably not to be seen again. Imagine her surprise when about a week later she found them curled up on her back porch waiting for her to open the door.

From what she told me they scratched on the glass door and demanded to be let back in. They then proceeded to the bathroom for a tub and to the kitchen for food there after. When they found their beds in the laundry room were gone, more complaining. She had to get a special permit to house them after that because technically they aren't supposed to be kept domestic in her area, but when she told the permit people what they'd done they laughed and gave her one. FYI, those raccoons lived out their natural lives alternating between her wooded backyard and her house just like big old house cats. They never showed the slightest sign of aggression, ever. Generally speaking raccoons are wild animals but they also share a common ancestor with cats, dogs, and rabbits. I have a feeling that they can actually be domesticated at least to the point where any formerly wild animal can be domesticated, if you get them really young. Whether or not that's good for them though is debatable.

I personally never forget that any animal, even a simple house cat, is exactly that though, an animal. Even a so called domesticated dog or a cat can turn on it's person seemingly for no reason given the right stimulus and do considerable damage when it happens. I've had my boy cat who is otherwise a complete angel suddenly bite the living heck out of me because I startled him, moved the wrong way, stepped just a bit too close to him for his comfort level. He also bit me several times when he was in a total funk after he lost 3 cat pals in a week's time. He was not happy being the only cat around and when he's truly depressed he's apparently a bit nasty. Once we got the girl cat all that active depression aggression stopped. Now, unless I scare him into thinking I am going to stomp on him he's docile as a lamb.

This is the same cat who patiently lets me groom him and do difficult medical things to him that actually hurt like heck, like cutting dead scab and skin off a cyst area so I can flush it and treat it with medications to keep it from getting infected and even injecting him with antibiotics when he needs them. He's had it extremely rough this cat so much so that a few weeks ago we nearly put him down but normally he's very tolerant, very patient, and that's despite the fact he has severe arthritis pain and that I practically have to torture him all the time to keep him relatively healthy.

I've actually done office work for a vet. I've seen the owners coming in bewildered to put animals down for aggressive behavior that seemingly comes out of the blue. Usually there is a reason for it, a disease, a brain tumor, some reason the animal is in pain and suddenly acting like that but not always. Sometimes? It's just a case of an animal reverting back to it's original nature. Some animals they get a taste of the great outdoors and that's all it takes, the domesticity goes out the window and they leave home never to be seen again.

I don't know that I'd trust raccoons in my house. I'd more likely make a spot for them out on the porch a raccoon house they could use and come back to if they wanted to be near. But I wouldn't expect them not to want to be around if I'd raised them from babyhood either. Animals, even wild animals do imprint and I think that once they have gotten used to humans it's probably better than they do stay around humans who care than they be released back to the deep wild. Being used to humans makes them vulnerable. It makes them easier to hunt. Most of the time it's better to avoid that contact to begin with but if it's happened, it's happened and I don't think that sitting them out there when they are accustomed and making easy targets out of them is the right thing to do. Feeding a wild animal doesn't always make it 100% domesticated. We actually have feeding stations in our park for birds, squirrels, rabbits and such. I get a real kick out of watching them feed actually but I still can't just walk up to a rabbit and pick it up just because they are somewhat used to us.

The way I see it they're going to be around anyhow and their natural foods can be in short supply because of all the lawn care that gets done around here. They were here first so if putting some rabbit food out can keep the rabbit population around here happy then it's okay by me. Ditto the bird houses. The ecosystem around here just can't support the bird population around here anymore. They took out 95% of the types of trees that give them their grub. I don't think it's so much to ask that we give them some once in a while. They actually have city laws actually forbidding that around here but so many animal lovers protested that they pretty much ignore any feeders that are on private property now.

The only animals that don't get fed regularly around here are the large reptiles, gators and crocs, the bears, and the wild hawks and such. The first three because they really don't need that much encouragement via humans. (It's dangerous to deliberately feed bears and gators.) The latter because there is ample supply of their food around for them to hunt, the fish and rabbits. Fact is a lot of the smaller animals around here would starve if we didn't have the feeders. There's just not enough of their natural habitat left for them to make it out there completely on their own except out at the designated nature parks set aside for them. It's sad to say that, but it's also true. When 95% of the surrounding area is city or suburbia playing Dr Doolittle a bit can come with the territory....
05-20-2012, 07:54 PM   #9
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You guys about covered all there is to cover about Raccoons........They come here every night like clockwork to rob Otis' feeder and see what else we might have put out for them. We all get along, but I never get too close, they are indeed wild animals and a Raccoon is a formidable force if agitated....a Pit Bull up the street could tell you all about it if he was still alive.....but one night he tried to snatch a baby Raccoon......and didn't reckon with the 45 lb daddy that latched on his back and took out his jugular......No sir, I don't get too close, even if Otis does call me a sissy for not protecting his feed!

Don't mess with me!
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...or my babies!
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Regards!
05-20-2012, 08:05 PM   #10
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They're so cute when they are babies. I was surprised actually when I saw my first wild one up in NJ way back. They come big up in the NE apparently. The one I saw was probably 3/4 as tall as me. I always thought they got no bigger than an average medium sized pooch. Not so. They can apparently get pretty darned big. The one I saw there 3X the size of my boy cat who is not exactly small himself. I've never seen that one that big here as yet.
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