Vixen August 2002 Can an adult wild coon become a pet coon? The short answer is no, but read Vixen's story.

It's a jungle out there. I was a coon living wild for 4 years. Let me tell you, that's no picnic. I was born wild right on the parents' property in June 1997. I had lots of siblings and was the runt of the litter. Nobody would ever let me get enough food, so I never grew very much. I was weaned at the parents' food bowls, but my greedy brothers hogged it. I started coming to the food bowls on my own in the early afternoons. I set up housekeeping nearby and continued eating even when it snowed.. I survived the first winter, but didn't mate until Jan. 2000. I had two kits that year, and 3 the next.

August of 2001, I had a nasty altercation with a dog resulting in a septic wound that didn't heal. In late Oct. the mother live trapped me and took me to the vet. I wintered over in a rescue facility. In the spring, I was brought back here for release. A really neat coondo for coons had been built in my absence. I limped and looked pathetic and moved in. I do have osteomelitis, so I figure I've got a life lease on this domicile. Another little coon, who recuperated from 10 broken bones, couldn't wait to break out and return to the wild. He wanted me to go with him. NO WAY. I sat right in my nest box all night long starring at the hole he had made. I absolutely do not want to be a wild coon again.

On the other hand, I'm not comfortable with the idea of becoming a pet coon like Remo or even the Whiffet. I do let the mother, but no one else, pet me. For 4 years, I considered all humans my enemies. I'm nervous and slightly hyperactive. I do not take well to being frustrated; I become aggressive. I want to live in captivity, but it has to be on my terms. I don't have the self-control to be a house coon. Also, I would find it stressful being around humans, even the mother, all the time. Having my own house is the perfect solution.

My message to anyone who wonders if he should adopt an adult wild coon as a pet is DON"T DO IT. If you get one that can't or doesn't want to be released, build the coon its own house. Enjoy the coon, but on terms it can accept not those you impose upon it.

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