Ready for a fascinating look at one of your sneakiest, smartest neighbors? With their clever ways, these smarty-pants can show us how to accomplish our goals and transform disappointment into opportunity! As it turns out, we’re making these masked avengers even smarter, and while this may shrink your chances of keeping them out of your garbage, their resiliency is amazingly fun to watch and consider!
Whether you live in the countryside or deep in the city, taking out the trash at night means you run the chance of encountering one of the world’s most curious critters. The raccoon’s unstoppable ability to get into… anything… has driven us to develop some interesting defenses against them. But here’s the thing: with everything we try, we’re actually making them smarter! And in turn, they have a few things to teach us, as well.
“Don’t give up—eventually you’ll get into that trash can.”
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of pulling up the lid of a garbage bin and seeing two shiny eyes looking back up at you from a tiny masked face, then you know our relationship with raccoons is a complicated one. They’re good for a jump scare, but they’re also cute! Plus, you have to hand it to them, they’re immensely clever. And it’s their curiosity that makes them so successful.
Raccoons will explore everything, letting their curiosity lead the way!
They’re unique in this way, as most other animals innately feel a healthy dose of fear. But no, no, no, that’s not the raccoon’s game. They’ll climb onto anything—even ride on the back of a garbage truck—and keep on trying new tactics to get whatever it is that they desire.
It’s in this way that we can afford to pay attention to their efforts. For many of us, when faced with a defeat, would just walk away. But if you acted more like a raccoon, you’d try and try and try again until you make your way into that raccoon-proof trash can!
Take a look as CBS Sunday Morning introduces us to a few raccoon lovers to learn more about their heartwarming quirks, so that your next trip to the garbage can can be all the more wonder-full.
To find more inspiring features from CBS Sunday Morning, make sure you head over to their YouTube channel!
And if you’d like to learn more about those super-sensing raccoon hands, check out this article from our library!
Oh, also, Dr. Lynda—the founder of EWC—used to raise orphaned raccoons! Here she is with her little crew of kits – Miko, Suli, and Tada. (Like, “Ta-da!” Lynda says she just had that kind of personality.)
Two curious creatures learning from each other!
Now, of course, the raccoon isn’t the only creature with amazing curiosity, and they aren’t the only ones learning from others. I mean, just look at us humans!
From the dawn of time, our species has always learned from others. We were inspired to take to the skies by our feathered friends, harness the energy of the sun by our photosynthesizing neighbors, and have even found inspiration in the way a porcupine’s quill is designed to make surgery safer! Just as we can see with today’s raccoons, there is always something to be learned from another species.
The raccoon way of solving problems and learning is much like our own—trial and error, questioning, curiosity, and perseverance can get us really far. And sometimes, it takes looking at how another creature uses the same skills to see how we can tap into them further.
Take these next articles, for example. Each of these tells the tale of how we’ve become smarter by looking at the brilliant, time-tested ways the creatures around us live their lives.
As always, stay open to new possibilities! You never know what inspiration will strike the next time you take out the trash.
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- CBS Sunday Morning. “Are We Making Raccoons Smarter?” YouTube, 29 Nov. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnZ-8cVxhNA&feature=emb_title. Accessed 12 Jan. 2021. ↩