You’ve heard of cat cafes, but this is something completely new—and a bit bizarre.
When they weren’t winning medals and rescuing dogs from dog meat farms, a few U.S. Olympic athletes spent their time in South Korea doing something a little different. The city of Seoul is a cultural experience with a lot to offer, but the local raccoon cafe called Blind Alley is a particular oddity.
The fact that it’s unexpected is what attracts Korean locals and tourists alike.
Dog and cat cafes and coffee shops are a common sight in the U.S., but South Korea has taken this concept to another level. The raccoon cafe is a place in the city where people go to hang out with these adorably masked creatures. The animals–including a few dogs and a capybara–are kept in a closed-off room complete with tables, chairs, and an indoor jungle gym. Visitors to the cafe can purchase food and drinks and then take off their shoes and venture into the raccoon room. The owner, Han Song Hee, rescued the raccoons from a fur importer.
Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy called his unique experience to the cafe the highlight of his trip to PyeongChang, South Korea. That’s right, the raccoons even beat out competing in the Winter Olympics. Kenworthy shared pictures of him and his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas on social media getting cuddly with the seemingly friendly forest animals.
While pictures are cute and the idea of spending time with cute raccoons sounds appealing, not everyone is on board with the concept of a raccoon cafe. Unlike cats and dogs, raccoons aren’t domesticated animals. They live in the wild and aren’t native to Asia. While some people see happy raccoons enjoying life and meeting new friends, others see a form of cruelty keeping the poor raccoons in an environment that doesn’t match their specific needs.
There are signs posted around the cafe with basic rules and warning visitors that raccoons can bite so they shouldn’t be fed outside food. They’re also encouraged to respect the animals’ personal space, but regulating that rule when people visit for the sole purpose of getting a selfie with a wild animal isn’t always possible.
There are health risks that you should be aware of after any wild animal has been taken from your home.
The health risks of raccoons should never be underestimated. Raccoons create enormous damage and transmit infectious diseases to Parrish adults, children and pets. Contact a licensed and insured nuisance wildlife management company for expert raccoon removal, raccoon trapping and raccoon exclusion services.
The Health Risks of Raccoons
It’s important that you have that Parrish raccoon removed from your attic, crawl space, basement or other building location before things get out of hand. Raccoons contaminate building surfaces with urine and feces and chew up everything from electrical wires to support beams. If you hear noises in your attic, call a wildlife removal professional before a raccoon or some other wild animal causes significant damage or even a catastrophic fire.Wild animal droppings harbor dangerous parasites and foster the growth of mold and microbes. Raccoons are known carriers of infectious diseases that can be contracted by humans and pets.
• Raccoon Roundworm, or Baylisascaris, is a dangerous species of roundworm carried by raccoons. Millions of roundworm eggs are deposited into the environment through raccoon feces. Children and pets can easily ingest fertile eggs by coming into contact with infected soil, tree stumps and other seemingly safe locations. Once inside the body of an animal or human, the larvae migrate throughout the body and infect the brain, eyes, spinal cord and other organs.
• Rabies is a health risk commonly associated with wild animals. Rabies, which attacks the central nervous system, can be fatal if left untreated.
• Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection spread to humans through raccoon feces and urine. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, severe headaches, high fever, anemia, meningitis and organ failure.
• Salmonella is also spread through raccoon feces. Humans and pets can ingest the bacteria through incidental contact with infected areas. The symptoms of Salmonella poisoning include high fever, severe diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Raccoon Trapping and Exclusion
A wildlife management expert can humanely remove and relocate raccoons and other nuisance wild animals. Professionally trained wildlife removal specialists can also decontaminate building materials, repair all damage and permanently seal your home or business to ensure that the problem doesn’t reoccur. Local wildlife management companies provide expert raccoon trapping, raccoon removal and raccoon exclusion services in the greater Parrish area.
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Raccoons can gain entry to homes and businesses by squeezing through hard to detect gaps and holes in rooflines, HVAC systems and foundations. Rats, mice and squirrels breed and contaminate food and building surfaces quickly.
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