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Video shows naked raccoon catching B.C. family by surprise


When Marvin Henschel spotted a strange and hairless creature wandering through a front lawn in B.C.'s Lower Mainland, he could barely believe his eyes.

The Richmond resident had just arrived home from a "guys' trip" in Palm Springs and was driving his daughter to softball practice when they noticed the naked critter between Blundell and Francis roads.

"After three days of golfing and sun I'm thinking, am I seeing things?" Henschel recalled. "It almost looked like an alien."

In video he captured of the animal, Henschel can be overheard muttering, "What in the world?"

The recording shows the unusual critter crossing the grass and mounting a stone garden wall – which it appears to use to scratch its backside – before moseying toward Henschel's vehicle.

"Uh, it's coming at us," the father laughs while rolling up the window.

Henschel, who runs Custom Ornamental Iron Works in the city, solved the mystery fairly quickly with some online research, locating a recent news story out of Nova Scotia about a similar-looking animal that turned out to be a raccoon with alopecia. 

But according to the Critter Care Wildlife Society, the local raccoon is probably in rougher shape.

Executive director Gail Martin told CTV News this particular nude raccoon is likely suffering from mange, which would explain the apparent itching and scratching captured on Henschel's video.

"It's a parasite under the skin that takes the fur away," Martin said. "A lot of animals get that in the wild."

The Langley-based organization, which treats and releases ailing wildlife, has received a few recent reports of the unusual-looking creature in Richmond.

Martin said the society doesn't have the resources to trap the animal, but said if someone else were to do so – using a humane live trap available at Home Depot and other stores – volunteers could take care of the mange.

If someone does catch the raccoon, Martin suggested putting a blanket over the trap as sarcoptic mange is contagious and can spread to both humans and dogs. The parasite can't survive on human skin, according to the VCA Canada website, but would still cause "severe itching" before perishing.

Martin also noted Richmond's streaking raccoon could potentially survive on its own without human intervention.

"Sometimes they get rid of it," she said. "They don't all die." Top Stories

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