Twitter celebrates #IRAD, International Racoon Appreciation Day

Today is International Raccoon Appreciation Day, and yes, that’s a real thing. It was started back in 2002 for the express purpose of celebrating racoons and all those other poor, maligned animals us pushy humans generally regard as pests, and to highlight the important and often overlooked role they play in our respective ecosystems.

Whether it’s racoons in North America, foxes in the UK or even elephants in the farming communities of Africa, every ‘nuisance animal’ has its place in the natural world, and today is all about spreading the word that sometimes we won’t always get on with our nearest animal neighbours, but we should always have our minds open about their inherent value and respect them for it.

Here’s what the internet has been saying about #IRAD:

It seems not everyone considers the humble racoon a pest, especially not the good citizens of Toronto, who earlier this year erected a candlelight memorial service in honour of a recently deceased procyonid after the city’s Animal Services forgot to pick it up.