Knoxville, TN police were alerted to a break in a Boost Mobile store this week. When they arrived in the early morning, they were lucky to find the culprit was locked in the store. Despite having him (or her) caught in the act, no arrest was made, as the burglar was just a poopy little raccoon who had fallen in through the ceiling. After a few laughs, they waited for the store’s management to arrive and unlock the front door, at which point they managed to coax the animal out.
Early in 2017, footage of a liquor store break-in and vandalism case from late 2016 was released. This event occurred at Parkway Wine & Liquor in Bristol, TN. The perpetrators of this heinous act? Raccoons, of course! Over the course of the night, the raccoons ran amok in the store; climbing on shelves, knocking over bottles (causing about $250 in damage,) and loitering. Employees had to chase them out the next morning. Video from the event is below.
This is a good 230 miles Northwest of Raccoon Mountain in Tennessee. Raccoon Mountain has nothing do with this story, but if something happens in Tennessee involving a raccoon then it had to be brought up. It’s where all the raccoons in that state come from. Every seven years, the raccoons embark on a pilgrimage to that place. It’s a little known zoological phenomena.
For some reason, articles about the liquor store break in didn’t get written until late 2017. It’s unknown why the raccoons did this, but I suspect they’re a bunch of teetotalers who were seeking to enforce their anti-alcohol ways on the rest of the world.
Filming recently began on the Ohio-based Killer Raccoons 2: Dark Christmas in the Dark. Sadly, I missed out on the opportunity to contribute to their Indigogo campaign, which I totally would’ve done if I’d learned about this sooner. I’m kind of shocked I’d never heard of the first movie, the rather unfortunately names Coons!, which was distributed by the infamous Troma Pictures back in 2005. As the title implies, this sequel will be Christmas themed (in the vein of classics such as Die Hard and Lethal Weapon,) with a planned release in December 2018. The director, Travis Irvine (who also did the first movie,) has returned to film production after a decade-plus of politics. He uses real dead raccoons for filming. Not them fancy taxidermied kind, either, but frozen (and thawed, then re-frozen) animal cadavers obtained from pest control organizations. That’s got to leave the sets smelling rather gamey after a day of shooting!
Well, best of luck and I look forward to enjoying this little slice of hell next year. I know what I’ll be stuffing stockings with!
In Panama City, FL (a part of the Emerald Coast along the panhandle) a homeowner was having problems. You see, light bulbs in her deck lighting fixtures were disappearing with surprising regularity. At first she thought they had been knocked loose by visiting children, but after being replaced they kept vanishing with no moppets to blame. So she did what made sense and put the neighborhood on high alert for some ne’er-do-well regularly absconding with the neighborhood’s outdoor incandescent bulbs. It’s plausible; construction sites often have to secure raw materials from desperate drug addicts who raid them for cash. Although copper piping is significantly more valuable than glass and space.
With everyone wary of interlopers, the thieves were sure to be caught in short order. Well, they were identified at least. Setting a trap of bulbs watched by hunting cameras, the original homeowner hoped to catch the culprit in the act. So just around dawn on morning, her recording showed who had been taking all of her lighting: a gaze of raccoons! Described as “fat little creatures” (which translates to “totally adorable”) they were likely attracted to the glittering glass of the bulbs in the morning light and collected them, thinking them something valuable. The homeowners are happy to know it wasn’t a human taking their goods, but are unsure what to do to secure them, as they don’t want to do anything that could hurt the animals.
Well, it’s almost Thanksgiving, so a story combining raccoons and turkey seems appropriate. Much more so than some recipe for roasted raccoon for Thanksgiving dinner. Anyway, it turns out that paleontology delivered up just the right thing for the season! The gist of it is that once upon a time, roughly 126 million years ago, there were critters called sinosauropteryx. Roughly the size of a modern turkey, about four feet in length and weighing a dozen pounds, these animals were covered in a frizzy coat of feathers that featured a ringed tale and masked eyes. Of course, evolutionary speaking, dinosaurs became modern birds, so this creature would have no relation to the lovable modern mammals. That being the case, the similar characteristics are examples of convergent evolution. The striping is a means of disrupting predators’ ability to perceive the animals in grassy areas and the “mask” is to reduce glare. Interestingly, they were able to determine these characteristics because the darker feathers were actually preserved in the fossil record, due to the extra melanin they contained. The first fossils of these animals were found in 1996, which strikes me as weird because the revelation that dinosaurs were feathered seemed like a more recent development to me.