Last year, Rosie Kemp found an injured baby raccoon that had fallen out of a tree in her backyard in Nassau, Bahamas. The little critter had a broken back leg and had been abandoned by her mother. Since there are no raccoon rescues in the Bahamas and it’s legal to own them as pets, Kemp and her daughter Laura Young decided to adopt the raccoon and raise her themselves.
Kemp and Young named the raccoon Pumpkin and worked to bring her a healthy recovery. According to The Dodo, raising her was a full time job for the pair, who took turns feeding the cub every couple of hours and making sure she stayed warm. Pumpkin eventually recovered from her injuries and moved in with Young and her husband.
The couple has two dogs that Pumpkin instantly bonded with. “She now thinks she is a dog,” Young told The Dodo. “She is able to play and be rough with them and she respects them when they have had enough.”
Pumpkin has quickly and seamlessly adapted to domestic life. Her favourite foods are sunny-side up eggs and watermelon. She has even learned to use the toilet to go to the bathroom. Young told The Dodo that raccoons are unbelievably intelligent, aware and able to express emotion.
Even so, Young expresses firmly that raccoons are not pets. “They are wild animals, so they are quite moody,” Young explains. “Unlike dogs and cats, they are not domesticated. Like a spoilt child if she doesn’t get her way, she will let you know.” Raccoons are wild animals and therefore belong in the wild whenever possible. Pumpkin unfortunately was put in a circumstance where she couldn’t survive in that environment, prompting Young to intervene. Her family is devoted to making sure that she gets everything she needs to live a happy life.
The family posts daily pictures of Pumpkin and her adventures on their Instagram account, which you can follow here.
Written by: Jessica Beuker