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Netherlands Zoo Gets Oceans Elevened by a Group of Raccoons

We all know Raccoons are the criminal underbelly of the animal kingdom. This Dutch zoo just learned that the hard way.

By Jason Salmon · April 2, 2024

Do not let this fella George Clooney his way into your heart. Joshua J Cotten/Unsplash

Disclaimer: While this article is based on adorable facts, it does contain some rogue satire.

Americans know - you cannot trust a raccoon. God gave them those Hamburglar eyes and werewolf claws so that we would know raccoons are bad news. The zookeepers at the AquaZoo animal park in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, had no idea what they were up against. This is a group of kindhearted animal lovers who act as caretakers of animals brought from various shelters or rescue situations and then build those animals an enclosure to approximate their habitat in the wild. They received twelve raccoons, knowing neither their penchant for criminal tomfoolery nor that their true habitat is a dumpster behind a Toledo Dave & Buster’s.

The natural habitat of a Felony Rat.  Kevin Butz/Unsplash

So it is no surprise that they treated the rapscallions like you would treat any other animal with some amount of dignity and deference to their safety, well-being, and comfort. Bad move Hollandaisies. Sure, a nickname like trash panda makes it feel like they’re just a bit mischievous. But trash panda is a misleading nickname to make them seem cuter and like they only dumpster dive to supplement the food they can’t find in the wild. What they should be called are felony rats. No sooner had this O-shucks Eleven group of rap sheet content creators been put in their new habitat, then poof - they were out. 

The next morning, an animal caretaker found the enclosure empty except for a single felony rat who stayed behind to send a message. The Dutch didn’t see them as the threat to our way of life that they are, so they put them in a transitional enclosure. That is when the tree weasel version of Shawshank Redemption ensued. This group of spork-upines dug, tunneled, climbed, and scampered their way to freedom in the wee hours of the night.

Behind bars like they were meant to be.  Ifer Endahl/Unsplash

The fortunate thing is that the Dutch, for all their kindness and naïveté, still spay and neuter the animals. So, while there is no certainty of a good outcome in the hunt for these fur eunuchs, at least this is the end of the line for their crime family.