Russians seem to like raccoons. I’ve seen several videos of raccoons where the people involved are speaking Russian. In fact, I follow the Instagram account of a young woman who has a pet raccoon. He’s cute and ornery; half the videos she posts are her lovingly petting the animal and him looking like he’s about to bite her hand. Note that raccoons are not native to that part of the world, but they’re adaptable little critters so I’m sure they could thrive there anyway.
But that’s neither here nor there. Sometime last year, a Russian advertising agency, Art-Msk, was preparing for a photo shoot to promote a brand of lingerie. At some point in planning this campaign somebody’s brain broke and they said: “Hey, do you know what sells women’s underwear, comrade? Raccoons!” So they lined up a model and then went to a petting zoo, a place whose name translates to “Animals are not Toys,” to rent a raccoon named Tomas for a little while.
During that time, Tomas posed with the model, stole her bra, and was generally cute … or a nuisance, according to representatives of Art-Msk, who insisted Tomas was unmanageable and not at all what they were looking for.
According to the zookeepers, he was traumatized by the experience and became reluctant to co-habitate in the zoo and developed an interest in human females’ breasts. Welcome to the club, buddy!
There’s now lawsuits being pitched back and forth, with the zoo saying that using an animal in nude photography is obscene and is asking to suppress the photos while the marketing company is saying their outrage is simply an attempt to get publicity for the zoo.
Not entirely sure what to say about this one. Cartoonist Kelly O’Grady weaves a surreal tale of dumpster-diving men with raccoon life companions, gentrification, and the joys of biscuits n’ gravy (although that’s mostly skipped over.)
A couple of days ago a raccoon achieved internet stardom as it was caught hitching a ride on a garbage truck by Politico reporter Helena Evich in Arlington, VA. After altering the garbage truck driver to the presence of the stowaway she Tweeted the image she’d snapped while driving (because it’s the 21st century) and it spread like wildfire along with #trashraccoon. That just becomes a bizarre complication as the internet has already decided to give raccoons to moronic moniker of “trash panda,” so “trash raccoon” becomes almost recursive. Anyway, after a few miles the garbage truck driver stopped near Larry Graves Park where police worked with him to remove the raccoon from the vehicle and release it into the park.
This was actually one of two incidents involving raccoons in Arlington, VA this week! The other was on the day before Valentine’s Day, when animal control, officers helped helped to extricate a “hefty” raccoon caught in a drain at a school. Hey, no fat shaming the wildlife! See the post about this incident on the Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s Facebook page.
Sure, call me a shill, but I’m always super psyched to learn about new things with raccoons for me to spend money on. You know, like calendars.
This week I came across a Kickstarter for a (hopefully) upcoming card game called Raccoon Madness. It features weird, but cute, raccoon illustrations on each card. I watched the video about how the game is played but I found it baffling. A lot of card games tend to confuse me. I tried playing one once with a friend that was about warring realms. After a few rounds neither of us was sure if we were playing it correctly or if either was winning. We’d read the instructions and everything!
Getting back to Raccoon Madness, it seems to be based on the element of bluffing from poker. I never understood poker, either. I was always more of a Stratego person. I suppose people with autism might be at a disadvantage when it comes to playing this game, then. Or maybe it’d be helpful to train them to read people better?
At the very least everyone can appreciate silly raccoon pictures.
Anyway, if you’re an avid gamer, and especially a fan of crudeness of the likes of Cards Against Humanity (they’ll even have a NSFW deck,) I suggest backing it. I have. Because raccoons.
Back in September an unnamed man went on vacation from Florida to California (too much sunshine!) and unbeknownst to him a pregnant raccoon gave birth to a litter of babies in his van along the way. Upon arriving in Stinson Beach he found five of the six cubs alive but in critical condition (the sixth died.) He rushed them to a nearby animal hospital, where the living babies made a recovery. Unfortunately, releasing raccoons into the wild is illegal in California! Rather than them having to be put down, however, the nearby Oakland Zoo‘s veterinary hospital was willing to take them for some more long-term care while WildCare seeks either a permanent home for the animals or an opportunity to release them into the wild.
Good luck, little cuties!
Personally, I’ve never liked that zoos don’t consider raccoons “exotic” enough to have in their exhibits. They’re cute, dammit! Put ’em on display! And I’d love to find a petting zoo with raccoons. I really want to find a petting zoo with raccoons.