Hot dogs, grapes, cookies and whipped cream
November 16, 2020 1:37 PM   Subscribe

For all your raccoon-watching needs. A Nova Scotia man gets mobbed by over two dozen raccoons during a nightly feeding session. Toward the end of the video he dons a crocheted raccoon hat. In this video, he introduces the raccoons to (non sugar-based) whipped cream in a can. (That section starts around the 9:30 mark. It takes the furballs a while to get used to having dairy products sprayed into their mouths, but they do get the hang of it, especially one guy. Earlier in the video, he explains there are no local laws prohibiting him from feeding the animals.)
posted by sardonyx (94 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
I am pretty sure this is a horror movie. At least it definitely is one for me. Raccoons. UGH. No thanks. Not to mention Raccoon Roundworm.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:43 PM on November 16 [5 favorites]


Would a raccoon feed you? I think not.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:45 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


Those are some chunky fellers.
posted by bonehead at 1:45 PM on November 16 [27 favorites]


Would a raccoon feed you? I think not.

Would a raccoon eat you? I wouldn't put it past them.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:47 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


Bets on how long it takes before he starts dressing them up like some low-budget independent backyard Disney movie?

WSTCH YOUR TOES!!!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:47 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


Approves
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:50 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


Here in San Francisco, in Golden Gate Park, at a lake close to the beach, there is a whole horde of raccoons, who are out all day long (raccoons are nocturnal in normal reality) bumming handouts from the unwarying public despite all the signs that say DON’T FEED THE RACCOONS. It’s the people who can’t read. Meanwhile, one of gardeners in the Botanical Gardens in the park, told us that there was at least one coyote living in the gardens now. The coyote introduced itself by leaving a raccoon head outside the door of one of the tool sheds. The raccoons are smart little bastards, and given their newfound urban lifestyle they are getting smarter thanks to natural selection. I hope this guy isn’t contributing to our downfall.
posted by njohnson23 at 2:02 PM on November 16 [9 favorites]


Eh, we had a good run.
posted by rodlymight at 2:11 PM on November 16 [18 favorites]


Not to mention Raccoon Roundworm.

Feeding them is a terrible idea. They are not the cute, cuddly Disney extras that they are made out to be, even in Canada.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:12 PM on November 16 [12 favorites]


Hot dog for you, and a hot dog for you, and a hot dog for -- wait, didn't you already come through the line?!
posted by wenestvedt at 2:27 PM on November 16 [12 favorites]


Ohhh my god they're WAITING IN LINE FOR HOT DOGS

Like I know all the reasons this is Very Bad and these fat lil guys will be screwed once this guy dies or moves away but a large part of my brain is still going RACCOON FRIENDS!!

Hopefully someday I can live somewhere I can channel this unwise impulse toward making friends with crows, that seems less damaging.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:28 PM on November 16 [31 favorites]


I like that he has to bribe them with a bucket of grapes just to get out of the house.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:34 PM on November 16 [5 favorites]


Maybe he's just trying to kill them off via heart disease.
posted by Cris E at 2:45 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


Hopefully someday I can live somewhere I can channel this unwise impulse toward making friends with crows, that seems less damaging.

There's a mail carrier in Vancouver who'd probably agree with you.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:54 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


Roundworm? No; round boi.
posted by migurski at 2:57 PM on November 16 [5 favorites]


1. Those raccoons are cute
2. That guy is an idiot
posted by awfurby at 3:11 PM on November 16 [12 favorites]


CHOMKY BOIS so cute!!
posted by supermedusa at 3:12 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


I wonder if any domestication efforts have been made with raccoons? They certainly have a lot of the right attributes for it in terms of size, cuteness, fluffiness, etc. It would probably take several, several generations to breed out the worst behaviors and instincts, though. But gosh, they're adorable.
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 3:13 PM on November 16 [5 favorites]


I wonder if any domestication efforts have been made with raccoons?
Yes, but their only notable success is James Blackwood of Nova Scotia.
posted by mbrubeck at 3:18 PM on November 16 [42 favorites]


Wildly impractical, probably bad for wildlife, and quite risky. I love it anyway. In my heart, I hope they'll tell their baby raccoons a bedtime story about the two-legger's magic box of hot dogs.

(This seems like a good moment to revisit Thomas Lux's "Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy." Thanks, sardonyx.)
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:25 PM on November 16 [12 favorites]


Hopefully someday I can live somewhere I can channel this unwise impulse toward making friends with crows

Just don’t let it get out of hand.
posted by fimbulvetr at 3:25 PM on November 16


That was wonderful and now I have a new model for how I want to spend my retirement, gleefully feeding a small army of fat furballs.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:26 PM on November 16 [5 favorites]


There are other consequences to feeding the raccoons, too.
posted by giltay at 3:28 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


You know, Mr. Gyre showed this to me and my initial reaction was OMG, horror, RABIES!! DEATH!! Also so unhealthy for them!!

As I watched... and watched fat raccoons go all.... no, no, I couldn't possibly stuff another hotdog in my mouth, soooooo full.... and then COOKIES!! MOAR GRAPES!!! And I thought, yes, this dude is doing illadvised things, but it's 2020, and he is HAPPY!! and those raccoons... ARE HAPPY!!

And I think that's good enough for me in this terrible, terrible year.
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 3:38 PM on November 16 [45 favorites]


The other viral-feral video making the rounds this week was the gardener who decided to feed the growing family of groundhogs in his yard.

CONTENT WARNING: sooooooo cuuuuuuute

It went from 1 to 2 to 5 and all I can think in both cases is "yeah, this isn't going to end well". I'm pretty sure the gardener is now buying vegetables at the store just to keep up.
posted by JoeZydeco at 3:54 PM on November 16 [16 favorites]


Such a bad idea.

I work at a fancy-pants garden center. We had a large number of extra-enormous pumpkins that did not get sold by Halloween this year—some were around 90lbs. The company put up a post on social media saying "Come and get them for free" after the 31st. One woman took six of them. She explained that she lets the deer in her neighborhood eat them. Apparently, deer like pumpkin. Anyway, it's a bad, bad idea to feed wild animals like this, even if the wildlife is cute.
posted by SoberHighland at 4:08 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


There was a pair of fat raccoons who used to hang out on my porch when I lived in the woods. Every night, they would sit with their little noses pressed to the kitchen window, looking inside like they were watching TV. I called them Ray and Bea.

One night they showed up with five identical kits. All lined up in a row, staring in the window at The Monkeywoman Show. Kinda cute but also kinda creepy?

(I called them The Raylettes.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:35 PM on November 16 [31 favorites]


I wonder if any domestication efforts have been made with raccoons?

I present to you the story of Calvin Coolidge and his forgone Thanksgiving dinner
posted by donpardo at 4:44 PM on November 16 [5 favorites]


I wonder if any domestication efforts have been made with raccoons?

Everything I've read about people who have had semi-domesticated pet racoons tells me this is a horrible idea.

As in imagine a surly and perpetually drunk toddler, now make them a pirate, now make them a bear, now make them a drunken pirate bear and then make them even more perpetually hungry and curious then either a drunk, a pirate or a bear combined and then add fully developed thumbs.

They'll take apart your entire house and life for an imaginary cookie.

I've thought in depth about a number of rather exotic/wild pets ranging from raccoons to ravens and every time I dive down this, er, rabbit hole is that all of the creatures that I think would make the coolest, most eclectic pets are more than just a lot of investment of care and work, more than a really horrible bad idea but also that the very attributes that might make them such a cool, interesting pet is also the same exact traits that make them absolutely horrible pets and roommates.

I've learned that ravens in particular are total jerks and don't like being kept at all and the "bad" days where they're aggressive and surly far outnumber any fun, cool "good" days. They're like a carnivorous, pissed off and very smart goth parrot with a seriously bad attitude and they can and will leave scars on a caretaker with their beak and talons.

And this is the spoken knowledge from people who run bird sanctuaries and are experts at caring for exotic and wild birds, including raptors. One expert I was reading and watching videos says the raptors, hawks and falcons give them far less hassle than the ravens and just didn't have the same highly intelligent and mischievous mean streak.
posted by loquacious at 5:02 PM on November 16 [45 favorites]


I wonder if any domestication efforts have been made with raccoons?

My father grew up in the carriage house of a mansion, and had a pet raccoon named Joe that he would walk on a leash like a dog, in front of the stately homes.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:20 PM on November 16 [9 favorites]


Back in the summer, I watched this guy's videos a few times. He does this every single night and posts it the next day on YouTube, and apparently has been feeding the trash pandas for 20 years. He better hope he never runs out of hot dogs, or those raccoons might turn on him pretty quick.
posted by briank at 5:22 PM on November 16 [7 favorites]


There are many, many raccoons in Toronto -- an estimated 100,000. For the last 14 years, since I bought my house, they've cost me many a roll of window screening. There used to be one raccoon who would sit at the window of my attic workroom and stare fixedly at me by the hour as I worked. I called him Creeper Coon. But at least he was staying outside the house.

Then came 2019, when the house was under siege. There were four separate incidents.

Raccoon Invasion I

At about 4:30 a.m. on July 4th, 2019, I was woken by the sound of snuffling and pawing and what seems to my foggy memory to have been a ponderous fart, all coming from near the door of my bedroom. My first coherent thought was that it was my cat Trilby who was making these noises, but then I caught sight of him fast asleep on the foot of my bed. Wide awake now from alarm, I sat up and saw the closed attic door, which is adjacent to my bedroom door, rattling in place from the efforts of something behind it pawing at it. Great -- there was a raccoon in my attic workroom, and who knew how much havoc it had wrought.

I got up, went over to the attic door, and kicked it lightly with my bare foot. I heard the sound of soft footsteps retreating up the steps. I went downstairs and fetched the broom, and so armed, went up the attic steps, shutting the door behind me. There was no raccoon on the steps or in the attic. It must have been scared off when I kicked the door. The waste basket had been upended and rooted through, a candle had been knocked over, a metal canister that holds ribbons had been knocked over, and a toy of Trilby's had been played with, but there was no harm done except for the gaping hole in the casement window screen -- no chewed cords, nothing broken, and no coon droppings or urine anywhere. I closed and locked the window, set things to rights, and went back to bed. Trilby had slept through the entire incident, which is just as well, as a set-to with that raccoon could have been fatal for him.

I resolved to keep the attic window shut at night from then on, which was a drag as it was a help in cooling off the house.

Raccoon Invasion II

At about 9:30 on the evening of July 4, 2019 -- note that this is the very same day as the incident above -- I was in my bedroom when I heard the sounds of angry snarling coming from the kitchen. Trilby often growls at other animals who approach the windows, but this sounded like multiple animals, not just him. I ran downstairs to find that the kitchen window screen was torn and that there were two raccoons in my kitchen and Trilby was challenging them to a throwdown. He was sitting on the edge of the kitchen table and batting one paw at them and snarling, while the two raccoons were on the floor below, also batting a paw each and snarling back at him. The first thing I did was nab Trilby and sequester him in the living room, which he very much did not like.

Then I needed to deal with the raccoons. One was in the back kitchen corner with the broom, which meant I couldn't get the broom to use to shepherd the raccoon out of the house. I opened the back interior door to my part of the house, and discovered that the second raccoon had slipped under that door, which is over some steps, and was already in the back entrance way. It scuttled down the steps and into the basement laundry room. I then grabbed one of the apricot tree branches I pruned in the spring (and have been saving for my woodworker dad), and used that to prod the first raccoon out of the broom corner and into the back entrance way. It also scampered down the steps and into the laundry room.

I shut the back door to my part of the house and opened the exterior back door, then went into the tiny laundry room, where I found both raccoons were hiding behind the dryer. After some persuasive efforts with the apricot branch on my part, they came out from behind the machine, left the laundry room, clambered up the back entrance steps, and exited the house through the open back door.

I shut and locked the back door, shut the kitchen window, contemplated the wholly unwelcome possibility of there being another raccoon in the house that I'd missed, and had a look about. The house seemed to be raccoon-free for the time being, so I let Trilby out of the living room and checked him over for bites and scratches. He seemed unhurt, if aggrieved about missing out on his chance to whup some raccoon ass. I resolved to never leave any of the back windows of this house open at night ever again.

Raccoon Invasion III

On the night of July 16th, 2019 came the third wave. For almost the past two weeks, I'd been closing all the windows except my bedroom windows at sunset. That night I forgot, and at about 9:30 p.m. I heard a clattering of something falling in the kitchen followed by the sounds of multiple animals snarling and growling. I ran downstairs to find that there were FOUR young raccoons in my kitchen, and it would have been five had I not shut the kitchen window in the face of the fifth. The four that got in were in the back kitchen mowing down on Trilby's food, while Trilby, who had been ready to take on the two raccoons who got in last time but had evidently decided that discretion was the better part of valour, had retreated under the kitchen table and was sitting there with a "not my circus; not my monkeys" look on his face.

I dragged Trilby out from under the table and shut him in the living room, despite his strenuous objections. I kept hearing him yowl as I grabbed the broom and shepherded the four raccoons out the back door (though as last time they took a laundry room detour first), with them hissing at me the entire time like they were the ones being trespassed against.

Once they were out and I'd shut all the windows and checked the house for any other raccoons I might have missed, I let Trilby out of the living room and checked him for bites and scratches. Again, he seemed unscathed, thankfully. The raccoons had eaten most of his bowl of dry food and overturned his water bowl, so I cleaned that mess up and set down fresh bowls of water and food for him, meanwhile resolving to never, ever forget to shut the windows again -- thinking, "This time the raccoons brought their friends; next time they might decide it's time for a convention."

Raccoon Invasion IV

Eight raccoons got into the basement apartment of my house one night and my tenants had to drive them out. They succinctly described the experience as "insane".

Haven't had any raccoons in the house since, but I've had to replace screening several times as there were some attempted tear-ins. I'm not immune to the outward cuteness of raccoons, but I'd never feed any. Inwardly they are as ravening wolves.
posted by orange swan at 5:24 PM on November 16 [72 favorites]


Put me on the "raccoons are cute from afar but awful little shits full of nastiness and teeth if you have them deciding that your home should be their home" list. Also when they fuck it sounds like little screaming children tearing each other to bits and it goes on ALL GOD DAMN NIGHT.

Fuck raccoons.
posted by aspo at 5:24 PM on November 16 [11 favorites]


This guy did it and regrets it: https://youtu.be/PMcUzDZrgVU
posted by wenestvedt at 5:30 PM on November 16


There are many, many raccoons in Toronto -- an estimated 100,000.

I am sure that if there was an American city with as many raccoons as Toronto you would hear gunfire at all hours of the day and night. I think people who have not lived in Toronto can quite understand how plentiful these little buggers are. And they are cute and it's not good to torment wild animals but honestly I'm surprised there isn't a cull program in place in the city. They're vermin and I don't think culling them would have any negative consequences. It's not like they eat mice or something.
posted by GuyZero at 6:02 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


And the headlines from SF about a handful of raccoons in GGP and "a coyote" are honestly laughable. There's more wildlife in Toronto's High Park, which is a fraction of the size and just as urbane as SF.
posted by GuyZero at 6:04 PM on November 16


Wild animals accounted for 92.7% of reported cases of rabies in 2018. Bats were the most frequently reported rabid wildlife species (33% of all animal cases during 2018), followed by raccoons (30.3%), skunks (20.3%), and foxes (7.2%). /killjoy
posted by theora55 at 6:04 PM on November 16 [6 favorites]


Everything I've read about people who have had semi-domesticated pet racoons tells me this is a horrible idea.

It should be noted that it takes generations of directed breeding to domesticate animals. All the pet raccoon stories anyone has heard feature trained/tame racoons not domesticated raccoons.

For example it took 40 generations composed of 45,000 animals to breed domesticated silver foxes starting with nearly 200 animals.
posted by Mitheral at 6:17 PM on November 16 [6 favorites]


Haven't had any raccoons in the house since, but I've had to replace screening several times as there were some attempted tear-ins. I'm not immune to the outward cuteness of raccoons, but I'd never feed any. Inwardly they are as ravening wolves.

I grew up in Southern Ontario and have lived in Toronto on and off for thirty years. The only thing that surprised me about orange swan's is that she stopped at four.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:17 PM on November 16 [7 favorites]


If you take care of them, they will ask you to 'run with us'.
posted by MattWPBS at 6:22 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


And the headlines from SF about a handful of raccoons in GGP and "a coyote" are honestly laughable. There's more wildlife in Toronto's High Park, which is a fraction of the size and just as urbane as SF.

There's a lot more than one coyote, for what it's worth. Nice evening howls lately!

The GG Park raccoons near the lake are being fed by (at least) one older lady who likes bringing them buckets of cat food. They're cute, it's a terrible idea.
posted by feckless at 7:00 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


The GG Park raccoons near the lake are being fed by (at least) one older lady who likes bringing them buckets of cat food. They're cute, it's a terrible idea.

Heh. A friend of mine had a neighbour who thought it would be "nice" to leave food out for the local skunks.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:12 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


A friend of mine had a neighbour who thought it would be "nice" to leave food out for the local skunks.

I was walking home from a friend's place on Bedford north of Bloor one night and saw what I thought was a raccoon digging in the pile of garbage bags waiting for pickup the next morning... nope. Like 5 or 6 skunks. Literally the scariest thing I've ever seen in Toronto. There is zero need to feed skunks. They're very, very capable of feeding themselves.
posted by GuyZero at 7:18 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


The biggest jump scare I've gotten from an animal in Toronto was a possum, but that's only because they look gnarly but they defend themselves by passing out. They're just alarming to see up close, unexpectedly, and in the dark.

As you say, the problem with skunks is that in the dark, it's like "Raccoon? Squirrel? It's too late for squirrels to be out - OH SHIT."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:23 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


Neighbors used to put out bread and chicken parts. When we turned the corner at night our headlights would reflect back from so many eyes: foxes, raccoons, possum -- and birds before dark, too. We'd yell "Wild kingdom!" so the kids could look.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:47 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


The night the possum came in the cat flap was the night the cat flap closed for good.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:54 PM on November 16 [28 favorites]


I didn't find any articles about her specifically but there was a local woman who frequented the local Ren fairs that was supposedly domesticating raccoons. She'd show up, raccoon on a leash, dressed in garb, talking about domestic raccoons. Oregon is a weird place, but I'm sure someone else has seen her with her trash panda.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:33 PM on November 16


They are not the cute, cuddly Disney extras that they are made out to be, even in Canada.

Amen to that. The ones in this video actually seem well-fed (chubby, even), but when I was growing up, my encounters with racoons was quite different. Growing up, there was a creek running behind my backyard where an untold number of 'coons lived. They'd scavenge garbage from our trashcans fairly regularly, always at night. My dad would get traps from the city and set them out. They were at least humane- they just trapped the racoon in a cage, and then apparently someone from the city would take the animal out to the boonies and release them.

A few times I saw the captured racoons in their cages, and let me just say I'm glad there was a lot of metal between us. Long, nasty claws was the defining characteristic--you do NOT want to mess with this animal. And unlike in this video, they were scrawnier, scrappier...just unpleasant as you can imagine. I'm glad they weren't killed but I was glad every time they were taken away.
posted by zardoz at 9:19 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


Oregon is a weird place, but I'm sure someone else has seen her with her trash panda.

I'm sure someone is already pitching Racoon Queen to Netflix.
posted by GuyZero at 9:25 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


She'd show up, raccoon on a leash, dressed in garb, talking about domestic raccoons.

DomestiCoons!

I'm sure someone is already pitching Racoon Queen to Netflix.

Her Maskjesty!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:57 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


This is both a horribly bad idea and yet totally endearing. I don't know, man.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:44 PM on November 16 [6 favorites]


My dad live trapped a raccoon that started breaking into the house via the kitty door to eat cat food, dog food, other things. The coon did it a number of times over weeks until we caught him on video.

The noises he made in that cage for like the 12 hours until we could transport him 60 miles away were not cute. By the time we got him to our property in the woods with a creek to release him I didn’t much care anymore that he may be disoriented and unable to prosper on his own so far away. Fuck raccoons.

This guy’s kids need to poison those hotdogs for him. It’s like Stockholm Syndrome.
posted by floam at 11:12 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


It was much more ... honey badger THESE-WALLS-WON’T-HOLD-ME,-BITCH vibe than ASPCA shaking-puppy-in-a-cage vibe, let’s put it that way.
posted by floam at 11:22 PM on November 16 [7 favorites]


ARRGH! My not so great eyes interpreted what he was feeding them as carrots, and that was bad enough–but HOTDOGS, OMG.

I have no love for the raccoon tribe. The local raccoons use the storm sewer as their superhighway and decided that my pecan trees were the 41st Street flyover and started holding RenFests on my roof. That was bad enough, but then they dug a way in under my house and moved in for the winter. I don't know how many there were under there but it sounded like hundreds.

Gawd they fight and squabble for hours on the overnight shift. Me stomping around overhead only quieted them down a few times. Blackened Death Metal didn't faze them (unlike my neighbors–they were plenty fazed).

After weeks of Raccoon Frat Party below, my brother in law came over at dusk while they were all out pillaging in the 'hood and poured ammonia all up in their party area and closed up the tunnels in. In the wee hours, they came back and the ways were shut! They bitched and scrabbled until they got in but left in a hurry when they a snootful of ammonia. Over the next few day, BIL continued reinforcing the blockages to entry and they finally gave up and moved on.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 12:06 AM on November 17 [5 favorites]


Peanuts are OK, I guess, but if he really wants to win the crow's friendship he should feed it with gobbets of meat from his plate.

Cracker Barrel cheese cubes will do in a pinch. But not too often as it is no corvid health food.
posted by y2karl at 1:33 AM on November 17


I saw a picture of this and thought it was photoshopped. Because surely no one could think this was a good idea.
posted by aclevername at 1:46 AM on November 17


Rationally, I'm sure this is a terrible idea, but I'm also sure I'd be feeding the raccoons if I were in his place. Only... I think I'd feed them farther from home. I wouldn't want my cat to be confronted by a couple dozen raccoons on its own porch, for one thing. Maybe make a raccoon feeding station, even build a racoon apartment building if I were the type to build stuff, but not turn my own house into Raccoon Central.
posted by pracowity at 2:15 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


One thing I find fascinating is how well-behaved the racoons are. They don't try to steal the box, they don't try to steal the hot dogs from the box, they don't steal hot dogs from each other, they don't try to get several hot dogs at the same time, they don't fight each other because one racoon got a hot dog before another did. They stand in line, get one hot dog, and leave. They're much better at this than lots of people.
posted by elgilito at 2:37 AM on November 17 [8 favorites]


Don’t try to fill the hole in your heart with raccoons.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 2:51 AM on November 17 [14 favorites]


I've been watching way to much video's from this channel the last week(s?).

A few points I got from listening to the guy babbling and reading some comments on youtube:
- he is a retired police-officer
- he was slightly famous before because of seeing a UFO (maybe on duty? I forgot)
- he does this because his wife used to feed them and before she died she asked him to take over the feeding
- they have been feeding them for over 20 years
- he has an excellent relationship with the neighbours, they don't care about the feeding
- he doesn't do interviews anymore, "it's about the raccoons and not about me"
-13 moderators take care of the trolls in the youtube comments (that's why you will see almost only positive comments under his video's)
- despite that he still talks about the trolling comments (also on facebook apparently) and engaging with particular trolls.
- he feeds them several times a night
- it costs him about 1500 CAD a month
- he doesn't want donations but does seem to get enough money from youtube ads.
posted by Kosmob0t at 3:10 AM on November 17 [18 favorites]


When I was three my folks rescued two small kits after a tornado destroyed their home. My Mom got instructions from the Pittsburgh Zoo (it was 1960, so no laws against keeping wild animals). I grew up with Hans and Fritz, they were amazing. It’s been many decades but I miss them, especially their astonishing hands, so like a human’s. Hans loved riding around the neighborhood in the basket on my bike. They adored sugar cubes and aluminum foil. I had fun playing in the woods with them, hunting crayfish in the creek and exploring. So many stories.

There was only one real “incident”; Fritz bit my sister pretty badly once, but she admitted she deserved it. “I was trying to tie a bow on his tail.”
posted by kinnakeet at 3:11 AM on November 17 [37 favorites]


it costs him about 1500 CAD a month

what

I grew up with Hans and Fritz, they were amazing.

WHAT?!?!
posted by medusa at 4:11 AM on November 17 [4 favorites]


I just spent thousands this summer replacing decks and fixing roofs that the little bastards were living under, so count me on team please do not feed the goddamn raccoons.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:35 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


I showed this story incredulously to my spouse. He pointed out I just spent the last three months rushing out from my desk to throw peanuts I had bought for the purpose over the fence whenever “my” crow came and tapped on the window by my desk, which he did a couple of times a week.

In other words project train humans is going well.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:01 AM on November 17 [16 favorites]


It’s late in the thread for this, but please take the time to spell out the entire word raccoon. The shortened version is a slur that nobody should have to wade through. Three extra letters is not a lot to ask for kindness sake.
posted by rikschell at 5:24 AM on November 17 [14 favorites]


pracwoity: I think I'd feed them farther from home.

Again at MetaFilter I must offer the story of Minnesota's late Vince Shute:
[In 1938] Vince went to work in the woods full-time, and by the age of 25 he owned his own logging company. Vince and his loggers lived in the remote north woods with wildlife as their only neighbors. Black bears, attracted by the smells of food preparation and disposal, became a nuisance. Out of fear, the men solved this problem by shooting the bears, but after three decades, Vince began to question the killing. Having observed the animals he came to the conclusion that “The bears weren’t mean – only hungry.” In the early 70s, to prevent bears from breaking into the cabins, he put food out in the meadow area to see if that would keep them away. In today’s world, we now know that Vince was wrong to start feeding wild bears, but he was ahead of his time in seeking a means of coexistence.
...Which sounds all cute and Snow White, but he had metal bars over the windows & door of his mobile home, from which he would feed crowds of black bears. Everyone local knew you could driev up there and just park in his driveway and the bears would come to your car. Crank down the windows and slide out slices of white bread if you were timid sensible, or some people even got out and walked among the bears to hand out the favorite treat: day-old bakery goods.

With Vince gone, it's all clean and safe and official now. But I do recall my mom telling me the story -- which may have been secondhand from my uncle Tim -- of seeing someone dandling their baby among the bears, which of course everyone knew was foolish because the baby's parts look so much like marshmallow, which the bears just love....
posted by wenestvedt at 5:58 AM on November 17 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: They'll take apart your entire house and life for an imaginary cookie.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:11 AM on November 17 [6 favorites]


"Also when they fuck it sounds like little screaming children tearing each other to bits and it goes on ALL GOD DAMN NIGHT."

Can confirm. It also happens when they get into territorial fights. It's a blood-curdling sound that really does sound like children being tortured, being torn apart somehow.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:52 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


"Holy smokes!" heehee, so wholesome.
posted by BekahVee at 7:55 AM on November 17


We used to get raccoons sometimes at my old apartment. At night they would climb up onto the deck off the kitchen and set off the outdoor motion lights. My cat would pace the windowsill and paw at the glass as if begging them to take him with them and free him from his suffocating life as a spoiled house cat.

A few years ago there was a story on This American Life about a woman who was attacked by a rabid raccoon. I’m happy to watch them through a window but nope to hotdogs.
posted by janepanic at 8:06 AM on November 17 [2 favorites]


I have never forgotten that:

Go to Act One, The Hills Have Eyes.
posted by y2karl at 8:21 AM on November 17 [5 favorites]


I watched one of these videos a while back after it showed up in YouTube recommendations, and immediately thought it seemed like the setup for a horror movie about killer raccoons rising up against humans. I sort of get why the guy does this, but it still seems like a bad idea.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 8:25 AM on November 17


There was a brief shot in, I don't know, night two, two little hands reached out for his lower leg, and guided him outside. it was the best! They are keeping him alive for now.

Metafilter's pet: A very smart goth parrot with a seriously bad attitude.
posted by Oyéah at 8:47 AM on November 17 [3 favorites]


The coyote introduced itself by leaving a raccoon head outside the door of one of the tool sheds.

You should always bring a gift
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:49 AM on November 17 [9 favorites]


I kind of wanted a raccoon as a pet when I was a kid because I read Rascal by Sterling North; eventually, though, I had to accept that the book's ending, in which Rascal hits puberty and is set free, was probably the fate of all would-be pet raccoons. (Although kinnakeet's experiences make me wonder.) Now, I think of them mostly in terms of a) keeping a respectful distance back from an open dumpster when I toss trash in it, and b) a spot on a not-particularly-busy road near my apartment where I take walks and at one point it seemed like there was always a raccoon roadkill, in varying stages of decay.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:48 AM on November 17 [3 favorites]


One thing I find fascinating is how well-behaved the racoons are. They don't try to steal the box, they don't try to steal the hot dogs from the box, they don't steal hot dogs from each other, they don't try to get several hot dogs at the same time, they don't fight each other because one racoon got a hot dog before another did. They stand in line, get one hot dog, and leave. They're much better at this than lots of people.

Seconded! They were so chill! After he ran out, they just politely milled about the deck and didn't attack him or ANYTHING. But they've been doing this a while, I suspect....
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:11 PM on November 17 [6 favorites]


The one that really figured out the whipped cream in a can got a bit defensive of his territory and his spot at the end of the nozzle, but even then, they mostly got along.
posted by sardonyx at 12:27 PM on November 17


Metafilter: a bit defensive of his territory and his spot at the end of the nozzle.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:40 PM on November 17 [4 favorites]


Oral rabies vaccines are a thing. I have no idea about availability and price where this guy lives, but I think that would be the least he could do to make this not a 100% a terrible idea.

A family of racoons showed up in a near by city decades after the last sighting and of course people started feeding them. Within a week the city was distributing oral rabies vaccines in the area.
posted by Dr. Curare at 12:43 PM on November 17 [1 favorite]


I had an uncle living on my grandparents' farm in Kansas who once kept a raccoon in an elevated cage. I was told that it saved scraps of food and dropped them through the bottom of the cage to lure the free range chickens in the yard -- when one came within reach, it would grab it by the neck and strangle it.
posted by y2karl at 1:54 PM on November 17 [5 favorites]


kinnakeet’s experience makes me wonder

At a certain point my folks, following direction from the zoo, deliberately left Hans and Fritz’ enclosure open in the spring when the boys’ behavior turned edgy. Off they’d go to sow wild oats, only to return, begging for fried eggs, a few weeks later. This went on for years, until at some point they seemed to just lose interest in leaving, having exhausted their “rumspringa” outing fun.
posted by kinnakeet at 2:18 PM on November 17 [7 favorites]


I believe, truly, that doing more than one bad thing doesn't mean you shouldn't try not to do one of them.

But, I also have a hard time explaining why many people (including me) are so much more immediately concerned with the quality of life of the raccoons than they are the animals that went into the hot dogs. Or the enormous habitat destruction required to enable driving to the hot dog store. Nearly all of us make choices between the health and comfort of animals and our own personal enjoyment that are very hard to justify. Whether making lots of people happy online by creating fat and dependent raccoons is better or worse, as a whole, than the things I do and never think about is unclear. I'm not sure this guy is an idiot. (Except for the bit where he stands against a glass door three feet from a bear.)

On a happier note, we had group of baby raccoons born in a crawlspace under our house when I was a kid. We didn't invite them or feed them. We also didn't kick them out. If you've never heard a chorus of baby raccoons talking to each other, it's delightful. In a seemingly unrelated incident years apart, a raccoon figured out how to get into our house. It sure made a mess of the kitchen. Those suckers can open doors and packaging better than I can without tools. Spreading chili powder around on the floor when we were out for a few days seemed to scare it off, or perhaps it just moved on to other things. There were definitely lots of paw prints in the chili powder and red dog's water bowls afterward.
posted by eotvos at 2:30 PM on November 17 [2 favorites]


I had an uncle living on my grandparents' farm in Kansas who once kept a raccoon in an elevated cage. I was told that it saved scraps of food and dropped them through the bottom of the cage to lure the free range chickens in the yard -- when one came within reach, it would grab it by the neck and strangle it.

A memorably charming anecdote:)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 2:39 PM on November 17 [5 favorites]


IIRC, my friend learned the hard way why you want hardware cloth with *small* holes for your outdoor chicken coop. The local raccoons would, whenever the opportunity presented itself, reach into the coop to grab a chicken's head, pull it through the chicken-wire hole, and bite it off for a tasty snack.
posted by cnidaria at 3:44 PM on November 17 [1 favorite]


That's nothing. One of our pals is now in charge of the concession stand at our backyard movie screenings.
posted by queensissy at 3:52 PM on November 17 [2 favorites]


And the headlines from SF about a handful of raccoons in GGP and "a coyote" are honestly laughable.

You mean the coyote that attacked a toddler a few weeks ago? That one?
posted by Lexica at 4:21 PM on November 17


That toddler was not exactly attacked.
posted by floam at 6:46 PM on November 17


queensissy: That's nothing. One of our pals is now in charge of the concession stand at our backyard movie screenings.

HOLY SHIT THAT'S AWESOME -- hellooooo, new Zoom background!

(It also reminds me of the @Bad Taxidermy account.)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:54 AM on November 18 [1 favorite]


Nice to see a former burglar gainfully employed.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:54 AM on November 18 [2 favorites]


Since we're also talking about coyotes, I had a pretty amazing encounter with some about a month ago.

I was headed home from a late night at work down the local bike trail that goes through some heavily wooded areas well after dark with a fairly clear sky and full moon, and I was in turbo mode on my e-bike with some speed and power to spare. And, yep, I'm wearing my helmet and gloves and all the gear, and my lights are probably brighter than many car lights.

And so as I made a fairly turn through a wooded area that drops into a long, straight downhill part I found about 4-5 very startled coyotes blinking back at me in the sudden light standing right in the middle of the trail about 40 feet away.

For whatever reason I didn't feel like stopping and instead - and perhaps instinctively - I accelerated right at them making yipping and growling noises and they took off running so fast it was like cartoon physics.

And so on that night I chased a small pack of coyotes and kept right up with them for about 800 feet just cackling the whole way until they scattered into the woods.
posted by loquacious at 11:05 AM on November 18 [4 favorites]


I spent more time than I'd like to admit while reading loquacious' comment saying to myself, "wait, I'm pretty sure I decided not to mention almost hitting coyotes on the bike path. Did I post about it and forget?" But, the end of my story is far less interesting and mostly involved trying not to crash. (I do instinctively chase geese when walking, though, which may be the same impulse. It's probably not great for the geese. But, all geese are bastards, so I don't feel too bad about it.)
posted by eotvos at 6:31 PM on November 18 [2 favorites]


The best thing I can say about geese is, at least they’ve not swans.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:37 PM on November 18 [1 favorite]


Can confirm. It also happens when they get into territorial fights. It's a blood-curdling sound that really does sound like children being tortured, being torn apart somehow.

Played backwards at that...

I heard and then saw such a dispute take place on the garages behind my old apartment on Summit. The loser of that screamfest then pulled a straight-out-of-Dracula move by face first climbing slowly down a brick wall. Man, was that creepy sight to see.
posted by y2karl at 8:18 AM on November 19


I kind of wanted a raccoon as a pet when I was a kid because I read Rascal by Sterling North

So did every kid in Japan. And that has led to some problems. 80% of Japan's wooden temples are now suffering from raccoon damage, and raccoons are not a native species to the islands.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:04 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


« Older The Glory of Motion   |   It’s much more easy to lose digital history than... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.