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In 2006 we
adopted a raccoon to live with us as a member of our family. He was never caged
and had the freedom to come and go as he chose. Riff Raff was never a pet in
the sense of the word like a dog or cat he came to mean so much more to us.
For 5 years
we became both teachers and students to Riff Raff and while we taught him what
was acceptable to us he reciprocated and reviled such a rich and complex set of
social rules that we finally were forced to admit that the cognitive and
reasoning abilities of a raccoon were far more advanced that we would have
previously imagined possible.
Raff was weaned we re-introduced him to the outdoors and from about 1 year old
he was allowed to come and go as he chose and he decided to stay with us. After
much trial and error we established a bond based on mutual respect and a
growing love for one another. Riff Raff was exceptional as a teacher and as my
brother in fur he dispelled many a myth about raccoons and their way of life.
In 2011 my
wife Tina and I decided to become legal wildlife rehabbers and after much help
from others finally passed the certification exams and became rehabbers in the
state of Kentucky. We took in two orphaned raccoon babies (Bubba and Sasha) and
immediately our relationship with Riff Raff deteriorated. What we didn’t
understand was that in nature a female and male raccoon will coexist unless the
female has young. By bringing the babies into the house we had triggered a
natural instinct in Riff Raff to leave and at the first opportunity he did.
we searched the woods near our home and after 3 weeks of futile attempts to
track him we were able to locate his new home. Knowing that he had no survival
training we established the diner to provide food for him. Riff Raff was always
a free spirit and continues to come to the diner and visit with us but unfortunately
his life has led him down a different path from us. We hope he knows he can
turn to us in a time of need and like a child that has grown into adulthood we
must respect his wishes to be free.
Benton is a city in Marshall County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 4,197 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Marshall County.Wikipedia
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