Sunday, September 17, 2006
Do Raccoons Prefer Gluten-Free Foods?
Do Raccoons Prefer Gluten-Free Foods? That is a question that I did not set out to obtain an answer for, but nonetheless the answer presented itself the other day.
We have a lot of mammalian wildlife in our back yard - everything from squirrels and chipmunks to groundhogs, rabbits, coyotes, skunks, possum, deer, and raccoons. These furry friends of ours tend to each enjoy certain things in our yard. The deer consume the flowers, bushes, and trees we plant. Chipmunks enjoy digging up our flower bulbs. Squirrels raid the bird feeders for seeds. Birds love cleaning up stale bread. And, then come the raccoons that like to have a snack off the compost pile now and then.
Since I was under the weather a couple of days, a 1/4 of a gluten free Chocolate Cranberry Nut Cake from a few days earlier went uneaten, so we placed it outside for the birds. We also happened to have some old peanuts (with shells) out in the yard for the squirrels to enjoy, which they very much do. And, on occasion the raccoons come by to get in on the peanut action - peanuts being a favorite of one raccoon in particular, who we have named Goblin (since he gobbles down peanuts so voraciously).
About half an hour after placing the cake and nuts outside, Goblin shows up as we are sitting on our back porch enjoying the nice day. Goblin begins sniffing around the area, and much to our surprise, passes over his oft-favored peanuts and grabs himself a nice chunk of gluten free cake! He runs to the base of the nearest tree with his bounty, and munches away for a while. Then, back for he goes for more, taking the last of the cake with him. Only after finishing off all of the cake did he then polish off all the peanuts the squirrels had yet to get.
So, from a totally unscientific study without the requisite control-groups and such, the answer is: YES! Raccoons choose gluten-free foods over non-GF foods :)
NOTE: The picture above shows him making his move on a chunk of gluten free cake in the lower-right corner.