I wanted to let my readers know that I am receiving private e-mail regarding the issue with Mark Brown having pet raccoons. I would like to share some of the comments with you.
First of all, I am being accused of making disparaging remarks about Mark's family. In actuality, I was doing some research for my blog and found some remarks made by OTHER people, which I then referenced.
I have been accused of reporting the situation to TWRA. In fact, I did not. According to a press release from TWRA, an agent saw the viral videos played on multi-media outlets, and the Agency took the appropriate action. TWRA does not need me to be a watchdog - Mr. Brown took the risk of exposure by posting his videos on-line.
One of the e-mails stated the following, "The sad part is the only way to re introduce an animal into the wild once domesticated is to be abused by humans, to make them never want to interact with them again.". This is emphatically not true. Wildlife rehabilitators work with the animals by exposing them to other raccoons which are also being prepared for release back into the wild. If this does not work, the animal is subsequently placed in an educational setting.
Another remark made: "FROM WIKI "their average life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1". This was in response to my comment about the raccoon dying at age 4. I should have clarified my comment to explain that in a captive situation where a raccoon would be placed in a zoo or similar educational program, its life expectancy would be 12-15 years of age.
The comment I am referring to is one made about rabies, a fatal disease. "SO REQUIRE VACCINATIONS. CARS ARE DANGEROUS TOO, BUT WE GET TRAINED IN HOW TO HANDLE THEM. CATS AND DOGS ALSO CONTACT RABIES AND THEY'RE LEGAL." There are NO approved rabies vaccinations for wild animals. If a person is bitten by an animal that is known to carry the rabies virus - the only way to know for sure if the animal is rabid or not is to euthanize the animal, remove the brain and check for the viral markers.
I am also accused of somehow "signing the raccoon's death warrant". This is so far out there that I don't even know how to reply.
I stand by my original post. There is a reason that wild animals are called "wild". They were created by God to fulfill their purpose in nature, not to be used for people's personal entertainment. The baby raccoon should have been taken to a certified wildlife rehabilitator to ensure its proper release into the wild. Wildlife laws are put into place for valid reasons. Keeping a wild animal without certification is against the law.
I am a firm believer in our rights to express our opinions and beliefs. Thank God we live in a country where we can do that.
The profanity and name calling used in the emails served no real purpose. I could not re-print that here, and would not have even if I could.