A Disease That Can Be Passed From Animal To Human The Perils of Raccoon Domestication

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The Perils of Raccoon Domestication

Baby raccoons are adorable little creatures; with soft fluffy faces and little paws that will melt even the coldest hearts. Although cute and charming, raccoons are wild animals, children or not. In fact, it takes thousands of years to domesticate an animal species. For example, dogs and cats have been bred in captivity for over 20,000 years. That is why we can get them as pets without any risk or consequence. Instinctively bred into their genes, a baby raccoon will grow up to be a wild animal in almost all cases of domestication. Keep reading to learn the basic dangers of owning or taming a wild raccoon, or any animal for that matter. Learn why it is important for wildlife to remain in their natural habitat and environment; and why people should admire these fascinating creatures from afar, and not inside their homes.

Property damage

Raccoons are fascinating mammals because of their agility, intelligence, and remarkable inquisitiveness. They are very capable animals that can open doors, lift latches, catch and hold, and much more; like a human hand. These characteristics, among many others, are prime examples of how destructive a pet raccoon can be in a domesticated environment. Raccoons love to explore, investigate and dig around. In a residential setting, this can be disastrous. Because there is no control or training of a teenage or adult raccoon, there is no chance of teaching them to behave indoors. They are highly intelligent, which also contributes to their stubbornness to tame.

The destruction possibilities are endless. They can knock over fine china, dig up mattresses, rip up upholstery, bury and hide household ornaments, help themselves to the refrigerator, raid trash cans, rip through drywall, pull down curtains, and more. Remember, they are also nocturnal. Some may recommend caging a raccoon as a possible solution; however, caging raccoons is even worse than allowing them free access. Wild animals are not meant to be caged, therefore, it is not advisable to have one as a pet unless proper care can be provided on an ongoing basis. Animal habitats, such as zoos and rehabilitation centers, are the only environments that are suitable for taming wild animals.

Health consequences

Property damage is not the worst risk associated with owning a pet raccoon. Health concerns are another risk to fully understand before adopting a wild animal. Raccoons are common carriers of many diseases that can affect humans and other animals, such as dogs and cats. Diseases such as rabies, distemper, canine hepatitis, roundworm, lice, ticks and mange are among the most commonly diagnosed in North America. These diseases can be transmitted by fur, saliva, urine, feces and blood. If a raccoon bites or scratches a person, they are at risk of contracting a disease if the animal is a carrier of one.

Raccoon depredation is another health hazard. Also known as raccoon drool, scat can contain many unwanted threats. A common hazard is the roundworm. These worms are microscopic and can lay hundreds of eggs in a raccoon. If ingested by humans or pets, possible consequences include violent nausea, blindness, organ failure, and even death.

Obstruction of Local Ordinances

In many states and counties, taming wild raccoons is illegal. If a person is caught with a pet raccoon, they can lose all pet ownership rights. They would have to pay legal fines and court fines as well. In other states, keeping a raccoon as a pet is legal as long as the person has an exotic animal license. These permits can be obtained as easily as a gun permit in most cities.

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