James Blackwood, a retired Mounted Police Officer from Nova Scotia, calls himself a “Raccoon Whisperer”, a worthy title, considering that he has been feeding dozens of them every night, for over two decades.
Blackwood and his furry friends recently became the talk of the interwebs, after a video showing the pensioner getting mobbed by a about two dozen raccoons, as he feeds them grapes and hot-dogs. This one video has been viewed 10 million times on YouTube, in the last two weeks, and has turned the retired RCMP officer into an overnight sensation. Truth be told, he already a healthy following on YouTube, with over 200,000 subscribers, but those were mainly racoon and animal lovers, now the whole world knows about the Racoon Whisperer.
It all started in 1999, when James’ late wife brought home a raccoon injured after being hit by a car near their property. She nursed it back to health and released it into the wild, only to have it return for snacks, only with a cub and more friends. The furry rodents have been lining up outside their home for food every evening since.
When Blackwood’s wife passed away in 2003, she made him promise to take care of the cats they had, and continue feeding their adorable forest friends. He kept his word, feeding the raccoons all sorts of treats every evening, and even posting videos of their feast on his YouTube channel, aptly named James Blackwood – Raccoon Whisperer.
According to Blackwood, the raccoons usually live in the forest around his property, and come out in the evening, around feeding time. They don’t just wait for him to call out for them to come get some treats, they literally stand outside his front door, sometimes making it hard for him to open the door.
While most viewers have described James Blackwood’s daily routine as “wholesome”, there were those who expressed concern about the raccoon’s health, as the pensioner isn’t always serving them healthy treats. However, the Raccoon Whisperer explained that the raccoons that end up on his doorstep routinely change, as the rodents move away to other areas, leaving their territory to other groups, so it’s not like they spend their whole lives feasting in his treats.
Apparently, James routinely gets offered donations by like minded animal lovers, but he always refuses, instead asking people to donate to their local animal rescue and welfare organizations.