Last week Rocket Raccoon made his big debut in the Guardians of Galaxy trailer and the internet is already collectively squeeing over the combination of a cute furry animal, Bradley Cooper's voice and a lot of guns. But before we get too carried away with our love for the Procyon lotor species, let us not forget the cautionary tale of "Rascal the Raccoon" in 1970s Japan.
Rascal was a popular cartoon character that the Japanese loved so much, they imported baby raccoons from North America as pets. As these animals grew up, their owners discovered that raccoons aren't as easily domesticated as cartoons led them to believe. Many were abandoned in the woods of the country to fend for themselves. They have since bred like crazy, building an animal army that has decimated over 80% of Japan's ancient temples.
It's not just in Japan either. Raccoons were brought to Europe as well and are now considered an invasive species, especially in Spain and Germany. Japan's since turned to those countries for help, trying to engineer obstacles that keep their furry neighbors from climbing all over their homes and wrecking the infrastructure.
Before you make the same mistake as Japan, Spain and Germany, please consider the following reasons not to get yourself a pet raccoon. Instead of getting a new pet because you like Rocket Raccoon, why not consider supporting Bill Mantlo, the character's creator? Mantlo suffers from a brain injury and needs help with his ongoing medical expenses. And unlike a raccoon, he won't give you brain worms.