Once the Halloween festivities end, there are good leftovers and bad leftovers. On the one hand, you’ve still got lots of candy to enjoy. On the other hand, you’ve got pumpkins to discard. There are plenty of things you can do with them, though, including composting and cooking. There is another option, too: donating your leftover pumpkins to animal rescues. One rescue in particular recently showed how fun that can be… with a raccoon cam.
Saco River Wildlife Center in Limington, Maine, recently shared an adorable video of their raccoon patients snacking on a leftover pumpkin. The rescue – which provides care to and rehabilitates sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife – placed a camera inside the pumpkin to get the best angles. The day before, they had encouraged such donations from residents, provided the pumpkins weren’t covered in anything toxic to their animals, like paint, chemicals, or bleach.
The pumpkin they chose for the video fit the bill, and you can see raccoon paws and faces sneaking in to snag the seeds and meat, savoring the tasty treat. They can also be seen outside the pumpkins, climbing on top and peeking in.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) says your carved pumpkins may be seen as a snack by your area wildlife, including squirrels, raccoons, deer, moose, and mice. That means if you leave a jack-o’-lantern out on your porch, there’s a good chance they may have been nibbling on it before you even discarded it. Due to this, the agency encourages people not to leave any painted pumpkins outside, as they can harm wildlife.
Once you’re ready to discard them after the season, the USFWS encourages you to reach out to rescues – like Saco River Wildlife Center – to see if they have use for them.
The day after the raccoon pumpkin video was shared, someone followed through on that tip, as a neighboring farm dropped the remainder of their pumpkins off at the center.
If you’d like to see more of Saco River’s critters, with or without Halloween décor, check out their Instagram!