Pumpkin the Raccoon

Pumpkin the Raccoon

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Updated Jan 14, 2016 at 08:48PM EST by Jill.

Added Jan 12, 2016 at 07:58PM EST by Ari Spool.

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Pumpkin the Raccoon is a wild female raccoon that was adopted as a pet by a family in the Bahamas. After becoming house-bred, photographs of Pumpkin both by herself and with the dogs in the household became popular online.


Pumpkin fell out of a tree in the backyard of Rosie Kemp of the Bahamas in October 2014 as a baby. The local animal shelter would not take the raccoon, so Kemp and her daughter, Laura Young, began caring for the raccoon themselves in their home.[2] On December 30th, 2014, Young began posting on Instagram a photo diary of caring for Pumpkin, who immediately befriended her dogs, Toffee and Oreo. This first photo has received 6,498 likes as of January 12th, 2016.[1]

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Pumpkin's Instagram profile quickly began growing in popularity, partially because of the novelty of a pet raccoon, and partially because the raccoon was very cute. A reddit post to /r/aww titled "My friend rescued a baby raccoon. Meet Pumpkin, the raccoon who is too cute to handle!" on February 4th, 2015 received 3,006 points (95% upvoted) before it was archived.[5] Other photos of Pumpkin began to become popular in the forum as well.[6] In October 2015, CBS News online published an article about Pumpkin's story;[2] by then, the raccoon already had over 77,000 followers. As of January 12th, 2016 Pumpkin has 514,000 followers on Instagram, over 50,000 likes on Facebook,[3] and over 3,200 followers on Twitter.[4]

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I have raised a few raccoons over the years. Usually found near their mothers who were killed on the road. First thing to know is that they will get into and destroy just about everything you touch. They are looking to you to learn things, so when they see you use a phone, controller, keyboard/mouse, then they will want to try it as well. Them trying it will usually mean throwing it on the ground and trying to break it open because there must be food inside of it.

As for food, everything aside from cans or locked boxes are up for grabs. It would be normal to come home to find a bag of bread torn open and scattered around the house.

When they are small they do like to nip and chew a lot while playing. So your hands and arms are going to look like you were punching a thorn bush.

Older raccoons don't like to be held or touched often. At about 3 years old they will gain an independent streak. In the wild raccoons are mostly solitary animals.

If a female raccoon becomes pregnant and has a litter then it will be like looking after a devil. Raccoon mothers will not tolerate anything near their babies. An animal that you were playing with a month earlier may now his and growl any time you enter the same room with her kits.

Raccoon's wean their young by bullying them into leaving. So don't expect to have a full family of racoons forever. If anything keeping more than one raccoon at a time will cause a lot of stress for the animals.


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