Pet of the Day

January 21, 2007

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Babe, the Pet of the Day
Name: Babe
Age: Three years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Crab-eating Raccoon
Home: Wanica, Suriname, South America
 
   The name of my pet is "Babe", she is a crab-eating raccoon from Suriname. She is two years of age now and my daughter brought her home when she was maybe six or seven weeks old. She was found near a road in the district of Para in Suriname, the country where I live in South America. When she was found she was deserted and wounded and the people that found her brought her to Paramaribo Zoo, where my daughter worked for a few months. Because it wasn't possible to give Babe the necessary care to keep her alive there we took Babe into our house. That meant several times a day feeding her with kitten milk and later when she started to grow with fruits like papaya, watermelon, fish, dog food, meat, etc., because the raccoon is an omnivore.

    During the first year of her life she lived in our house and she destroyed everything: the ceiling, the carpet, the furniture. Nothing was safe for her. Then my wife and me decided to give her an own room downstairs a little bit apart from the rest of the house, so we could repair the damages she'd caused.

    In the beginning Babe escaped several times from her new room, especially at night, and then she went upstairs, entered the house via the roof and came to our bedroom, because that's where she thinks she belongs: with us in her house.

    Since we improved her place downstairs she can't escape anymore. Sometimes I let her walk and search in the garden, where she can find snails and play with the dogs, who know her very well.

    Every evening I spent some time with her in her room. Sometimes she comes down from the (rests of) the ceiling via a tree that we placed inside. But mostly she's laying up there, when she sees me coming and after five or more minutes, as she wishes she comes down to play, what means bite my hands, jump on my back and shoulder hang over my head and so on. Many people don't understand that I love this destructive animal and they ask me why I don't bring it back in the wild.

    I can't do so, because Babe is not afraid of people, but here in Suriname most of the people are afraid of krapdagu's (The Surinamese name for the crab-eating raccoon).

    So when I bring her somewhere in the wild, it will be her death, because when she meets people she will go to them and that would become fatal to her. She instead will stay safe, she has a home with us forever.

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