For many animal lovers, the sight of a seemingly hungry animal (or any animal at all) is enough to melt your heart.
All you want to do is help them out a little, right? So you might reach into your bag or step into your pantry to fetch the critter a snack. Their reaction to your gift of food is glorious, and plenty thanks enough. With that, you feel you’ve done a service to the poor creature on your doorstep.
But suddenly, the hungry animal keeps returning. And it isn’t a common house pet like a puppy or a kitten in search of shelter and food. Breaking news updates and daily headlines from a news source you can trust.
It’s a raccoon. The notorious nocturnal omnivore you saw last week digging through the dumpster across town. Day after day, the raccoon returns, becoming reliant on the food you provided just a handful of times.
You may think nothing of it and continue providing snacks for the animal. You don’t mind his cute furry face on your porch each night. But then this raccoon heads home and starts spreading the word. He tells all of his friends that some awesome guy is giving him food and there is no dumpster diving required.
So Mr. Racoon and all his friends head out for a night on the town, and the party is at your house. They’ve arrived for the rumored snacks, and it isn’t just a handful of critters — it is at least 30 hungry wild animals. This is exactly what happened to one man who fed a few raccoons that popped up in his yard.
At first, it was just that — a few, maybe two or three, raccoons. But one night, he went to open his back door and was met by nearly 30 hungry raccoons. “I went to go and feed my raccoons, but you can’t believe how many are out there tonight,” he said. “The word is out, you gotta check this out.”
The man then tells viewers to come take a look, and it becomes clear that he wasn’t kidding. Perched on his back porch is an entire army of raccoons waiting patiently for him to share his food with them. The man kindly threw some dry pet food out into the crowd, and the raccoons clearly couldn’t get enough.
This video, while incredible, is also a reminder of the dangers of feeding wild animals. If the thought of thousands of raccoons flocking to your home on a nightly basis doesn’t scare you, make sure you’re giving them the right food for their diet and that you aren’t feeding them by hand.
It is also important to remember the impact your feeding the wildlife can have on your neighbors and the surrounding area. Make sure to never feed wild animals from your car or near highways. Doing so could teach them to associate food sources with cars and roadways, and the unsuspecting critters could wander out into busy traffic none the wiser.
According to PAWS, If you are looking for a safer and more “positive way to get closer to wild animals, consider volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center, such as PAWS, where hundreds of injured and orphaned animals are in need of a little human help.”