Meet Fritzi the racoon, who has become an online sensation after being rescued by a Berlin vet as a young kit.
Female racoon Fritzi has been living with veterinarian Dr Mathilde Laininger and Nadja Michael in the German capital Berlin after having been found by children when she was only a few weeks old.
The racoon’s loving carers have set up an Instagram page called ‘Fritzi the Rescue Raccoon’ that boasts 10,000 followers.
They share images of Fritzi’s everyday life with fellow racoons Marvin and Paul, Anouk the dog, and cats Bruno and Miro.
Dr Laininger said: “Racoons are as tame as cats and can absolutely be housebroken.”
The vet, whose house has been converted to be racoon-proof, added: “When a racoon is bottle-fed, it trusts us humans very much.”
Dr Laininger, who has a special permit for keeping racoons, said she does not see her home as an animal sanctuary and will only care for animals she is permitted to treat. However, she would like to found a racoon association in the city.
Around 1,000 racoons reside in Berlin, and they can live up to 20 years in human care compared to two or three in the wild, according to Berlin Council’s wildlife commissioner Derk Ehlert.
Fritzi’s co-carer Nadja Michael told Newsflash: “Before the coronavirus lockdown, she spent a lot of time in the fresh air going for swims in rivers, hiking in the mountains, or travelling to nature spots during the warmer months.
“Fritzi loves dried dates and avocados the most, along with grapes and nuts. She is a bit shy, but when people she doesn’t know bring her a few peanut flips, she loves everyone.”
Nadja added: “She likes to play with Anouk the dog in the garden before enjoying a long doze in the cat’s basket.”
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