Sussex

Food raiding racoon at Drusillas Park piles on the pounds

Woody the racoon Image copyright Drusillas Park
Image caption Woody the racoon looks "a little less trim than he should", according to his keepers at Drusillas Park

A racoon at a wildlife park enjoys his food so much that he has been piling on too many extra pounds.

Keepers at Drusillas Park, in East Sussex, said Woody had been eating food meant for the rest of his group rather than sleeping during semi-hibernation.

He lives with his two daughters Bandit and Turpin, but "has been hoovering up all the best bites and not burning off the calories", said Mark Kenward.

"We have made a few adjustments to his eating plan," the head keeper added.

Fat reserves

Racoons enjoy a varied diet of apple, pear, banana, grapes, cucumber, celery, chicken, mice, eggs, fish and insects, and are native throughout North America.

Mr Kenward said during the winter months it was normal for racoons to live off their fat reserves as they become less active and sleep more.

Woody, he said, had been raiding the food while the rest of his group slept.

"We are not too concerned at the moment... and will be keeping a close eye on him over the coming months," Mr Kenward said.

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