KNOCKEMSTIFF, OHIO — Local raccoon “Bandit” isn’t living up to his promise. Instead, he’s leading a lazy existence of coasting by on his cute looks and the copious leavings of sloppy campers. He’s replaced his instincts and cunning with habituation to humans and total dependency on the slovenliness of the uncaring.
His mother, “Apples,” bemoans the situation. “Bandit was such a great cub, so helpful and energetic. But now he won’t even bother to rummage through a trash can or gnaw through a tent wall to get some food. If it wasn’t strewn on the ground, he’s too lazy to get it.”
To her further dismay, he’s gotten so cute that some humans even throw him food. “Bandit has a sweet little face,” she says, “and he has this way of looking at you with soulful, deep eyes. He’s gotten potato chips, Twinkies, and even some hamburgers and beer this way.”
Ranger Riggs Roarke has made a project of working with “Bandit” to do better. “Bandit is a good fellow underneath it all, but he’s developed some bad habits and it’s starting to affect his health and present a danger through removing his natural fears of predation. I work with him regularly to persuade him that the humans are just sloppy pigs and he doesn’t want to end up the same wasteful, lackadaisical way as the people who litter this campground.”