On Sunday, April 27, Fester, our raccoon passed away. He was 16 years old and will be deeply missed. While he was a raccoon with wild instincts, I compared his personality to a mischievous puppy.  He would greet me at the door in the morning and afternoon for a treat and then sneak out his exhibit door as I left. After a quick walk down the hall he would take a grape from me and walk back into his exhibit for the day.  Grapes were one of his favorite foods. 

Always curious, he would knock over my buckets daily, pull on my radio, and play with my keys. His sensitive and dextrous fingers were constantly working.  He loved his occasional crayfish or minnow treat.  He could grab a minnow out of the water at remarkable speeds, even in his old age.

Fester would do anything for a treat, and one of our part-time keepers trained him over the summer to wave his little hand for a snack.  Soon it became a full-blown stand, reaching out with both hands for anything we might give him. He will forever hold a special place in my heart. Each day I walk by his exhibit from now on, I’m sure I will smile in remembrance of his antics.