It was a normal Tuesday morning until the Peninsula Humane Society was called over to a Redwood City bank for a robbery. The police department was not running low on officers, nor was the thief a were-wolf. No, the humane society was promptly called over to detain two juvenile raccoons in the midst of their crime.
Rohan Joshi, 34, was up early that day and stopped by the bank before hours to use their ATM. When he looked into the bank, he noticed an adorable stuffed raccoon on the desk of the banker. “I didn’t think anything of it until it moved, and then I was like, ‘Wait a minute, that’s real!’” Rohan reported to CNN. He called the respectful authorities after realizing that he was witnessing a robbery.
The two juvenile raccoons had done what many people had failed to do before them. They had robbed a bank, and since they had, in fact, completed their mission and got off scot-free, it was a smashing success. A little too smashing, however, because, in their wake, they left broken ceiling tiles, a smashed computer, and a mess of papers.
The two raccoons left a trail of muddy paw prints leading up a tree, through the vents, and on a pile of broken ceiling tiles. They had discovered the bank’s breakroom and stole a small tin of cookies.
As hilarious as this situation is, this could be an indicator of concern. Animals are becoming more and more dependent on human food, most likely from young children throwing scraps of food at geese, stray cats, ducks, pigeons, and apparently raccoons. Another possible way wildlife is getting access to human food is through litter and improperly covered trash bins.
If animals are being fed “people food”, they will eventually become more comfortable with humans and, in turn, lead to animals searching cars, trucks, campsites, and now banks for food. This could become a serious problem since animals are known to carry diseases. Raccoons are known to carry rabies, which can be prevented by getting a series of shots, but if a pet contracts it, they might spread it around without the owner’s knowledge. Standard procedure calls for euthanizing any animal that has rabies.
Another concern is that the animals could get sick. Animals shouldn’t be eating human food. Human food is so low in nutritional value that the animal would not gain anything from it. Also, human food isn’t very healthy, and for some animals, it can be toxic.
To prevent animals from eating human food, we need to take some precautions, such as not allowing children to feed animals in the park or when they’re camping. Also, putting heavy lids on trash bins can help. Taking little steps like this can help the environment.