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Pumpkin: It’s a… Raccoon’s Life?

Pumpkin: It’s a… Raccoon’s Life?

Pumpkin the raccoon has become something of a celebrity, a beloved star of Instagram.

Last year, when she was just a month old, she fell out of a tree and into Rosie Kemp’s back garden in the Bahamas. The poor little mite had a broken back leg and it soon became apparent to Rosie and her daughter Laura Young that Pumpkin has been abandoned by her mother.

It turned out that the Bahamas Humane Society, an animal nonprofit, couldn’t take her in, but raccoons are allowed to be kept as pets as long as they have been properly vaccinated.

Fortunately, some of Laura’s friends had some experience with rearing raccoons and under their advisement, she took Pumpkin home with her to look after her and welcome her to the family.

Everyone in the Young family warmed to Pumpkin almost immediately, but the humans weren’t the only ones who had to become accustomed to another addition to the family. Toffee and Orea, the Young’s rescue dogs, would also have a say in the matter.

But evidently there was nothing to worry about. The dogs loved Pumpkin just as much as everyone else and took her under their… paws.

The pups are Pumpkin’s best friends and mentors, but Laura says the bond is deeper than that.

“Pumpkin considers the dogs her mums,” Laura explaining that the little raccoon does so much with her doggy pals, from exploring outside, playing, and even sleepy cuddles.

The Youngs document daily life with the youngest member of their family with photos on Pumpkin’s very own Instagram account – which has 173,000 followers at the time of writing.

But Laura does want to stress that raising a raccoon isn’t the same as with a domesticated pet, and raccoons are better off in the wild. Laura took her in because she wouldn’t have fared in the wild and bringing Pumpkin into the family home was the best hope for her survival.

As well as being great climbers, raccoons are highly intelligent animals, with an excellent memory. They can have some very human-like characteristics, and a couple of studies have shown that they are able to both recognise symbols and differentiate between the number of grapes inside a box.

Laura is so happy that the world can share in the wonder of Pumpkin. “She is a cheeky little thing, so wonderful and highly intelligent, and always very entertaining,” she enthused.

And we thought we’d share some of our favourite pictures with you!

Family photoTrue love

Nom nom nomHang in there

As we said, highly intelligent ;)Peek--a-boo

Who let the... dogs out?Geronimo!

What a lovely family!

To check out more pictures of Pumpkin, you can visit her Instagram here. Prepare for cuteness overload!

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