Pumpkin the raccoon, as she was named by her rescuers, fell out of a tree in Rosie Kemp’s back yard. Only a month old, Rosie waited to see if the mother would return. When no one came to claim the tiny raccoon, and Rosie realised she had broken her back leg in the fall, she decided to help.
“Raising her was (and still is) a full-time job,” Laura, Rosie’s daughter, told The Dodo. “They are so unbelievably intelligent, very aware, and I would say they are even able to express emotions.”
Rosie lives in Nassau, Bahamas, meaning there was no racoon rescue to take her to, and where you are actually allowed to own them as pets. So Pumpkin became one of the family, and now lives with Rosie’s daughter, her husband and their two rescue dogs Toffee and Oreo.
She doesn’t miss out on a thing, and seems to bond well with the family dogs…
She evens enjoys the pool.
At the end of the day, however, Pumpkin is still a wild animal.
“Raccoons are NOT pets,” Young explained to The Dodo. “They are wild animals, so they are quite moody. Unlike dogs and cats, they are not domesticated. Like a spoilt child if she doesn’t get her way, she will let you know.”
Pumpkin was featured on NatGeoWild where they seem to think the same.
She seems to love her new life, however, and without Rosie and her daughter’s help she may not have survived. Now she is treated to sunny-side up eggs and watermelon, and even knows how to use the toilet.
It is important to remember that raccoons are still wild animals at the end of the day, and The Dodo posted this warning on their website:
‘Note: Raccoons do not usually make good pets and are illegal or restricted in much of the U.S. While rabies is not considered a threat to land animals in the Bahamas, raccoons in the U.S. are major rabies carriers, and if they bite someone will almost always be put down for rabies testing (which makes human contact dangerous for them). They are also extremely active, curious and destructive animals and, as with any wild species, do best in the wild whenever possible. If you do find an injured or baby raccoon in the U.S., please contact your local wildlife rescue for help.’