HOWTO "safely" cover your body with squirming, gorging raccoons

Vice profiles the efforts of one woman to "snuggle" with a bunch of feral raccoons, a feat she accomplished by donning a protective suit of material she judged thick enough to fend off rabid scratches and bites, then covering this suit with rotting food to attract a head-to-toe blanket of living, gorging raccoons.

2 As the old saying goes, the best way to get raccoons to swarm over your body is to think like a raccoon. And since eating is on their mind 80 percent of the time (the other 20 percent is divided between sex and taking dumps), there’s no better lure than food. The good news is that raccoons aren’t picky eaters; their diet is extremely diverse and includes nuts, seeds, fruit, eggs, insects, frogs, crayfish, and anything that happens to be lying—or crawling—around. Of course, city coons find decomposing human food to be mighty tasty, so open your fridge and look for nasty pizza, rotten fruits and veggies, and whatever else your lazy fucking roommate forgot to throw out three months ago. Put the grossness in a well-sealed bag and head down to wherever the raccoons hang out in your town.

Snuggling Up with a Bunch of Feral Raccoons Is Easy and Fun (via Kottke)


  1. And since eating is on their mind 80 percent of the time (the other 20 percent is divided between sex and taking dumps)

    Amazing, isn’t it? They’re so much like us.

  2. This is the kind of thing that you file under “Not A Good Idea”.
    Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean that you should.

  3. What are the raccoons goals with this occupation? Why don’t they have a clear & simple message??!?!?!

  4. I’m looking for the sexual perversion here, it’s eluding me (maybe there isn’t one). Anyone want to help?

    1. – well…

      I’m not so sure it’s just an “allegory” though ; there must be some sort of interest here – the word “snuggle” is operative here. 

      “coon smitten” is in the original article also. I mean, c’mon… 
      This is all something observers may well be projecting onto the thing rather than any sentiments felt by participants.

      “coon smitten” !!!

  5. There is a huge rabies risk – more than 1/3-of rabies-infections in the United States come from raccoons.  [wiki raccoons]

    1. Feral means animals that used to be captive or domesticated but have returned to a wild state. So yes, most wild Raccoons (including these ones, I couldn’t see any mention in the article of them being released/escaped pets) are non-feral.

      1. Thank you!  I was wondering why they used this term and how would they KNOW that they are feral.  

    2. Technically there are NO feral raccoons. Feral means a domesticated animal which has ‘gone’ wild, meaning either it or it’s ancestors ran away into the woods. So you can have feral pigs or horses or hamsters, but not caribou or raccoons.

    1. I have no idea why, but i find racoons to be cute looking.

      You live someplace that doesn’t have any? The cute goes away when they eat the walls off your house or breed in the attic and pee through the ceiling.

      1. Do you live in a shantytown or what? I live in an area with raccoons, but have yet to have one pee on my ceiling or eat my walls.

        1. Lucky you. They’re very destructive. And the shantytown was the Sunset District of San Francisco.

          1. I have some currently contesting domicile rights in my 1909 Craftsman right here in the untamed wilds of Northwest Pasadena, CA.  About a mile away from JPL.

            I still think they’re cute (cuter than cats, at any rate), but still varmints who had best get to steppin’.  Their squatting days above my back porch are numbered in the single digits right now.

          2. The Mission would be the ideal environment. Lots of restaurant dumpsters. I lived ~ fifty feet from GG Park, which is a sort of wildlife reservoir and base camp for raccoons, possums, etc.

      2. Closest thing we have around my part of the world (tho i hear them are breeding like crazy further south) are badgers…

      3. Then, don’t live there!  Go live in city centers… there are still a few there much fewer and they do  not climb to the 5th floor!…

  6. It’s “art” dammit, art …!

    So if any of those cute fuzzy wuzzies go for her eyeballs then her camera-man picks em off with his glock?  …and thus instant (albeit a bit more angst ridden) additional art? (win-win)

  7. I had no idea racoons were so big! I always thought they were little things, about kitten-sized, not like big enormous dogs. Crikey!

  8. Pulled from the original story:

    “4 One comestible raccoons seem to find yucky, however, is broccoli. Use their aversion to your aesthetic and protective advantage by surrounding danger zones (i.e., your junk) with appropriate amounts of the leafy green stuff.”

    Surely this tip has broader applications than just raccoon snuggling provides.  For a rather twisted young lady she is most appealing, but I’d stop at the raw broccoli myself.  

    There may be a marketable product to be found here, if anyone wants to develop panties with built in broccoli clips.

  9. I love them. They are so freaking cute! But they totally will eat a hole in your wall. They’re big to, so if they get into your house they take nice big dumps your crawlspaces and if your live traps fail or upset them they may get trapped somewhere in your house. You won’t know where until the putrid stench of death overwhelms you. So, cute, but definitely bad news if they decide to move in. 

    I’ve known people who domesticate them, but they’re smart and can open cabinets etc.

  10. mmmkay.  We had baby raccoons as pets growing up, a couple of fox pups too, but….cute until they hit adolescence and get seriously pissed at you.   Wondering why the term “feral” is used.  I suppose it makes it more exciting to behold.  “Look at those raccoons climbing all over that crazy lady.”  or “Look at all those feral raccoons climbing all over that crazy lady”.  Clearly the latter grabs the attention and imagination of the masses.

  11. this photo is suspect to me. Doesn’t it look like both pant legs just above the boots seem to be flat and conform to the edge of the rock beneath them? Also, the raccoons in my neighborhood are constantly fighting amongst themselves, screeching, and clawing. At some point this woman would find herself in the middle of one of those episodes, that is if they didn’t tear her apart first.

  12. I have been observing the psychology of the raccoons that come into my house through the catdoor to eat the catfood.  I have watched them for several years now.  They are “determined” while seeking the food.  They are “focused” while eating their food.  They are “relaxed” after they have eaten their fill of food.  The skunk that that comes into my house through the catdoor shows a different psychological pattern.

    1. In my last house, I put food outside for the feral cats. It was interesting that cats, raccoons, roadrunners and cactus wrens all seemed able to share the same space without any kind of conflict. Of course, a house cat would feel compelled to defend the homeplace. Or at least pretend to.

      1. Of course, a house cat would feel compelled to defend the homeplace. Or at least pretend to.

        You’d think so, but our late cats would cower in terror under the sofa as the raccoons unlatched the cat door, sauntered through the laundry room into the pantry, gobbled the Meow Mix in the bowls, tore open the bag for a bit more, daintily washed their hands in the drinking water, farted in the felines’ general direction, then departed when they damn well felt like it.

        But then, one of these cats was ancient and tenderhearted (for a cat), and the other was mistrustful of bugs, footsteps, light breezes, running water, light places, dark places, small children, her own shadow, sudden noises, dogs, other cats, and vermin.  Other than that she was the picture of self-confidence.

        1. They can’t climb walls. Owls, though, will eat all of the others, and have no access problems.

  13. That’s awesome. I love raccoons. 
    I knew this had to be Montreal: 1. the view and 2. after dark Mount Royal comes alive with the fattest, tamest and most oblivious raccoons anywhere.

  14. Clearly, a majority of the so-called Boing-Boing “mutants” are all in favor of wild life as long it is far away!  So what is different in that attitude from the rest of the National-Geographic-reading public?  Not much I would say!…  At least, the “experiment” was well thought out in terms of health of the “actor” and was funny in terms of confirmation of what goes on in millions of garbage cans per months.  Relax!  Life is not always according to your pretty ideals…

    1. Raccoons are “wildlife” in the same way that pigeons are. OR CRAB LICE. They’re perfectly lovely creatures that have adapted all too well to human environments.

  15. Those raccoons are in Quebec, not the US.

    Feeding the raccoons at the Mount Royal lookout is rude, wrong, and stupid.

  16. And I should know since I live in an area with many raccoons (next to a state forest)! You learn and you adjust to them… and they do not go into your garbage and they do not crawl into your ceiling!  I am not the only one but all my neighbors have achieved that a long time ago as have thousands of people around the country (obviously outside the SF Sunset District, for whatever reason)!

    1. It’s lovely that you’re able to live so harmoniously with the local fauna, and I have no doubt that you have tightly secured trashcan lids, and you keep all tree branches trimmed well away from your roof and eaves.

      I didn’t mind the raccoons strolling through the back yard, and in fact I was pretty amused at how they’d occasionally stroll in the house to bogart the cat food without so much as a by-your-leave.  I laughed, then fixed the cat door so they couldn’t unlatch it; problem solved, I thought.  Hearing them pitterpat across my roof in the dead of night bothered me not at all.  But then they decided to gnaw their way into the attic and nest in the warmth therein.  And yes, I found out by the drips of coonwhiz seeping between the boards of the porch ceiling, shortly after they gnawed through the wiring of the porchlight.

      No doubt the infestation (or benign visitation if you prefer) is the result of my own moral failing, even far outside the lawless Gomorrah of San Francisco, where I hear a shockingly high percentage of residential structures are infected with termites, dry rot, toxic mold, and the clap.  It’s a divine judgment, I’ll warrant.

    2. Actually they probably neglect to bother your houses more because they are able to survive without getting close to you due to the woods. The ones that live in the city do not have that option and therefore adapt in order to survive as do rats,opossums, foxes, and coyotes.  

  17. The real shame here is that she doesn’t have a knife in her teeth.  Cut to the next photo and she’s going feral on them.  Them city racoons look mighty fat and juicy.

  18. I live in a semi-rural area with a forest. We once had an opposum wandering around, but he disappeared. We’ve never had raccoons.

    I think the neighbors eat them all.

  19. I think it’s important to see the greater significance here : This exactly what PETA must have been fearing just yesterday when they announced their opposition to Mario’s Tanooki suit in Super Mario 3D Land. (

    And here it is, happening already! People covering themselves with raccoons! Doesn’t anyone think about the children?? They copy everything!!

    1. PETA members where clearly not allowed to play Super Mario Bros 3, or never managed to get to world 7…

  20. how come I can post with my twitter account but not my BoingBoing one? I keep getting an eror message telling me to make sure I’m logged in properly and I am!

    Anyone else or is it just me?

  21. Great article in the grand tradition of Vice:  “Dumb people do stupid things (and we try to make it seem cool)”. Keep it up Vice!

  22. “…since eating is on their mind 80 percent of the time (the other 20 percent is divided between sex and taking dumps)…”

    So when does sleeping fit into the scheme of things?

    But anyways, I’m underwhelmed.  You wanna impress me?  Take your suit for a spin around wolverines, my dear!

  23. Reminds me of Veruca Salt, being swarmed by the squirrels in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

    Kind of a dumb idea, in any case. Why not cover herself with honey and lie in an ant mound to see what happens?

    1. Why not cover herself with honey and lie in an ant mound to see what happens?

      Ants are either sweet-eating, in which case she gets swarmed and not harmed, or meat-eating, in which case, she doesn’t get swarmed because they’re not attracted to the honey.

  24. She looks awfully bored to me, or like she is thinking “I’m covered in raccoons AGAIN?  Why does this always happen to ME?”

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