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The Tribune | Weekend | 9

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pumpkin the raccoon holds up a copy of a new book featuring her adventures; above, Pumpkin with Toffee and Oreo; and right, the new book chronicles the wacky antics of Pumpkin

Bahamas’ celebrity raccoon raises awareness of animal welfare By JEFFARAH GIBSON Tribune Features Writer jgibson@tribunemedia.net

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wners of Pumpkin, the famous Bahamian raccoon, have chronicled her wacky adventures in a new book as a “thank you” to her nearly one million fans and to help bring awareness to animal welfare in the country. “Pumpkin: The Raccoon Who Thought She Was A Dog”, which was officially released in the US on October 4 and made its UK debut last week, gives readers a look into Pumpkin’s life over the past two years and the friendship she forged with rescued potcake dogs Toffee and Oreo. A launch event for the book was held at The Island House last Saturday. The book, which will also become

available in Japan, features a collection of fun pictures of Pumpkin, Toffee and Oreo. It shares funny stories about their adventures together and what it is like living with a raccoon. Almost two years ago, Pumpkin fell out of a tree when she was only one month old after she had been abandoned by her mother. She was nurtured and brought back to health by Laura Young and her family here in Nassau and formed a lasting friendship with Laura’s pooches. After having Pumpkin for several months, Laura started an Instagram account to keep friends and family up-to-date with the little raccoon’s progress. Never once did she imagine that Pumpkin would attract millions of fans. “Pumpkin has followers from around the globe – from Japan to Sweden,

Cambodia, Australia, and the list goes on and on,” Laura told Tribune Weekend. “We have so many amazing fans from around the world and we wanted people to be able to take a piece of Pumpkin home with them. It is a feel-good book about unlikely friends and their beautiful relationship.” The rescued raccoon’s fame was not

“It is a feel-good book about unlikely friends and their beautiful relationship.”

something Laura and her family saw coming. “Never in my wildest dreams did I expect Pumpkin to garner such an immense following. We are now using her platform as a tool to encourage people to adopt and find homes for potcakes here in the Bahamas. We were also able to use the book launch at Island House to raise money for the Bahamas Humane Society. Her presence on social media is now a way for us to pay it forward,” she said. Pumpkin turned two years old on October 3 and has never been better, Laura said. “Pumpkin is wonderful. She is the princess of the house and is spoilt rotten. She spends her days munching on her favourite snacks like avocado and eggs, playing with the dogs and sleeping. Not a bad life for a raccoon.”

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