Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press


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Raccoons: Maniacal marsupials or culinary connoisseurs?

Of all the members of the animal kingdom, raccoons are often reduced to the worst of stereotypes: trash pandas, nabbers, hissers, night crawlers and abominations-of-a-corpse on the side of a road. However, freshman Hayden Quinto and her family instead see cute companions – even equals. 

Last summer, Quinto and her family noticed a shy raccoon climbing around the trees in their backyard. Now, raccoon Sally and her children Nugget and Rocket, have become frequent feasters and welcome guests at the Quinto household. 

“We have a little window in our office that looks out to a little entryway,” Quinto said. “One time while we were in the office, we saw a raccoon come over and we were like, ‘they’re so cute!'” 

The raccoons just kept coming back, so Quinto decided to start feeding them. Over time, she learned how to gain their trust.

 “When you approach them, they like it when they can’t see your face because it scares them,” Quinto said. “We turn our backs to make them feel safe.” 

Now, every once in a while, the raccoon family will come at dusk to munch on stale chips, hotdogs, and other dollar-store treats, which Quinto gets just for the raccoons. Sometimes, Quinto will make trails of food for them to follow, toss them food, or even feed them directly from her hand. While Sally and Rocket remain anxious to walk up and eat the food, the small but mighty Nugget in particular has no fear of getting the meal she deserves. 

“Nugget is definitely my favorite because she is the cutest and lets me feed her out of my hand,” Quinto said. “She is not scared at all. If she wants food, she’ll just walk right up to you. She doesn’t care.”

Not everyone is on board with the whole raccoon debacle. After all, raccoons can often be a nuisance for homeowners, but these raccoons have shown exceptional respectability. They’ve never hissed at Quinto or her family, and don’t show any signs of aggression. 

“Before, I didn’t really think anything of them. Now, I think they’re really cute, and they’re really nice, actually,” Quinto said

“When you tell people about it, they say, ‘Why do you feed them? They’re always going to come back.’ We don’t mind it, though,” 

Mother nature is not to be messed with, but maybe you can extend a hand, and something will extend a paw, hoof, or claw back.

About the Contributor
Oliver Prado
Oliver Prado, Senior Writer
Oliver Prado is a senior at Liberty High School. He is a senior staff writer. He enjoys boogie boarding, geeking out over history, and discovering new music.