Sometimes, I just don’t know what goes through some peoples’ minds. But when we can’t understand something, we can laugh at it. And it’s Friday — you deserve a good laugh. Get a kick out of this.
James Blackwood of Nova Scotia, Canada, is the self-proclaimed “Raccoon Whisperer.” He’s built a YouTube following of over half a million subscribers for doing something most people wouldn’t dream of—regularly hand feeding wild raccoons.
Blackwood, a retired police officer, filmed his most popular video on the night of November 3, 2020. It’s well worth a watch. The video starts with a group of raccoons standing at the glass door of Blackwood’s patio on their hind legs, like a gaggle of toddler-sized trick-or-treaters.
“This is going to be fun,” says Blackwood. Then, as he exits his house: “Watch your toes.”
Blackwood then takes a seat on the porch and starts shoveling hot dogs to the furry critters as they climb all over him and tug on his clothes. The raccoons do their best Joey Chestnut impressions and gobble down the links before pulling at Blackwood with their little paws for more. Which he happily provides. Then he dishes out dessert—cookies. See the wild scene below.
According to a CBC article, Blackwood’s wife was the original raccoon feeder in the family. When she passed away in 2003, Blackwood carried on the tradition. He feeds raccoons, deer, and birds near his rural Pictou County home. He says he feeds raccoons hot dogs, Hamburger Helper and sauteed mushrooms, roast chicken, pigs in a blanket, and even Tim Hortons donuts. How Canadian of him.
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In many places, feeding wildlife is strictly forbidden, but the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, where Blackwood resides, doesn’t have any laws against the practice. The provincial government is currently considering new restrictions and strongly discourages feeding wildlife which can disrupt natural animal populations and cause health risks to people. The government notes that raccoons are known to host black-legged ticks, which carry Lyme Disease, as well as a “raccoon roundworm,” a nasty parasite transmitted by raccoon feces. For the “Racoon Whisperer,” though, I guess the risk must be worth the reward.