If you haven’t seen it yet, go to YouTube and watch this channel now: James Blackwood – Raccoon Whisperer.
Sometimes he serves chicken hot dogs, hard-boiled eggs, grapes, apples, bananas and unsalted peanuts.
“I cook sausages for them, I do Hamburger Helper with sauteed mushrooms, Vienna sausages, roast chicken, pigs-in-a-blanket. And Tim Hortons doughnuts.”
(For those of you unfamiliar with Canada, Tim Hortons is more than just a place to get donuts. It’s synonymous with Canadian identity.)
One of his oldest raccoon friends, Rascal, will turn 13 in the spring. He knows her birthday because it was her mother that first reached out to him from the raccoon world. She had been hurt, likely by a car, and so Blackwood and his wife Jane took her in. That was 1999. “We gave a soft release into the wild and she’s been here with us every year since,” he says.
That raccoon later returned with her cub, which Blackwood and his wife named Rascal. His wife took to raccoons with a passion and on some nights 18 turned up for the late-night eats.
Jane Blackwood died in 2003 of cancer. Jim Blackwood merged her love of raccoons with his love for her, and so became the Raccoon Whisperer. “I fell in love with the animal and would not have it any other way. I am a retired RCMP officer and this is what I do full time,” he says.
It may seem that Blackwood is training his own Raccoon Army of the night, but I get the feeling the raccoons have trained him to be a reliable source of exotic food that’s just unavailable to most wild creatures.
He should be doing reasonably well if he’s monetizing his YouTube videos. He currently has 328,000 subscribers, and a number his videos have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of views.
It’s not all raccoons and peanut butter sandwiches on his channel. Sometimes, he’ll throw in a musical performance:
Go ahead, watch this channel — it’s mesmerizing!