A gaze of raccoons make their home among the mangroves on a secluded beach in Freeport, Bahamas. Labeled as an “invasive species”—the raccoons are thought to have been introduced to the island only a few centuries ago and are on the Government of the Bahamas eradication list.
The raccoons have found some unlikely friends in the guides of a local island nature tour company. The men feed the raccoons during the day, reversing a raccoon’s typical sleep cycle, and introduce them to tourists—where these approachable furry bandits ask for food and steal hearts.
On an ongoing basis the guides humanely trap the raccoons to be neutered at the local humane society—while in surgery the tip of the raccoon’s ear is removed to identify it has been neutered, so it is not trapped again. After recovering from surgery the raccoons are returned to the beach to be with their families.
This humane and unusual approach to raccoons—classified in the U.S. as a “nuisance animal”—gives hope to wildlife lovers everywhere—and proves that humane approaches work and we can peacefully co-exist with all animals.