Helge was originally rescued as a baby by the fire department, where he was hiding away in an electrical box. A hunter took him in and raised him, and eventually contacted TIERART in 2017 when the little raccoon was not so little anymore, and needed a more species-appropriate life.
Upon arrival, the man emphatically pointed out to us that Ben, (as the raccoon was still called at the time) would do his toiletry exclusively in the litter box and would rather die of constipation than do this anywhere on the floor. We therefore put one in the enclosure, although our raccoons normally use a sand corner for this. When we let him out of the box into the enclosure, he ran straight to the sand corner and did his business there! And that is where his name came from...
Some names just come up
The story with the litter box led to the fact that we called the raccoon 'Helge' from then on – in reference to the song 'Katzenklo', which is the German word for 'litter box'. The song is written by the German singer Helge Schneider, and so, it stuck.
Raccoons are considered invasive animals in the EU
At TIERART, many raccoons are permanently cared for who have come from a wide range of backgrounds. The release of these animals into the wild is prohibited, so raccoons once taken into human care must remain there.
With many little mouths to feed, the costs for food, as well as building new them enclosures, castration, deworming, other medications and animal care staff must be financed through donations.
- My favorite food: Since my arrival i'm fruit and nuts. In my previous home I was unfortunately not fed species-appropriate and knew almost only dry dog food. Because of this I came to TIERART extremely overweight with 17 kg. Here I first had to learn what raccoons normally eat and now I still weigh about 9-10 kg.
- I am: by the usual contact to humans very trusting and always come curiously to the fence, if visitors pass by.
- This is what the keepers say about me: Helge has integrated very well into the group and has since learned to behave and feed like a raccoon. Unfortunately, he regularly has to fight with inflamed eyes. So far, we have not been able to treat them effectively in the long term and so they do water from time to time.