Larry the raccoon is an animal with special needs who continues to defy the odds. Found abandoned in a field at just four weeks old, Larry was blind and unable to walk due to cerebellar hypoplasia. He was taken to a veterinary clinic, where they planned to put him to sleep. However, fate had other plans for the tiny raccoon.
Elizabeth, who is licensed as a wildlife rehabilitator in Florida, received a call from a fellow rehabilitator about Larry’s situation. Having a soft spot for animals with special needs, Elizabeth decided to take Larry in and give him a chance at life. Since then, she has rescued and rehabilitated more than a thousand animals, including 180 squirrels at one time.
When Elizabeth first brought Larry home, he was in critical condition and required round-the-clock care. It took about a month before he began to show signs of improvement, but Larry’s will to live was strong. He is now a happy and healthy raccoon despite his handicaps.
Larry can never be released into the wild because of his blindness and inability to walk. However, he found a loving home with Elizabeth and even bonded with another raccoon named Pixie, who also has cerebellar hypoplasia. Raccoons are social animals, and socializing with each other greatly improves their quality of life.
Elizabeth has not been on vacation for nine years because of her commitment to wildlife restoration. She can’t leave Larry with a babysitter because he’s considered wild, but she finds her job incredibly rewarding. Larry became an inspiration to her, helping her overcome her health problems and giving her a reason to get out of bed every day. In captivity, raccoons can live up to twenty years, and Larry only one year. Raising Larry is a big commitment that Elizabeth has not shied away from, and she says she never will.
Feeding Larry is the highlight of Elizabeth’s day because he takes such pleasure in eating. Larry lovingly holds Elizabeth’s hand during each feeding, knowing that she is his lifeline. If she leaves the room, Larry will call her and he will listen to her voice when she is around.
Although Larry will always require special care, he has defied the odds and continues to bring so much happiness to those around him. His story proves that even the most vulnerable animals can thrive with the right support. To get to know Larry and experience his sweet, loving personality, click play on the video below.