Raccoons Could Totally Overthrow Humans, Scientist Warns

The “trash panda army” is coming.

Colorado Springs Police Department

As the world descends further into chaos, it might be time to consider a regime change — that is, humanity getting unseated by another species. Recent events across North America suggest raccoons have started a revolution against humans, and a wildlife biologist tells Inverse we might be doomed.

Over the last few weeks, raccoons have made it clear that they’ve had it with our bullshit. Late last month, a rogue raccoon jumped onto a Colorado Springs cop car as it raced to the scene of a car crash. While no one was hurt — including the raccoon — police were blown away by how long the critter was able to cling to the windshield. This photo of the ordeal says it all:

Raccoon hangs onto a Colorado Springs police car windshield

Colorado Springs Police Departement

Raccoons have also made it clear that they reject our capitalist institutions. Last week, a family of them broke into the ceiling of a Toronto bank, forcing it to temporarily shut down. The damage caused by the raccoons was so extensive that repairs won’t be finished until the end of October.

Clearly, raccoons have a (understandable) vendetta against humanity. According to wildlife biologist Imogene Cancellare, it’s just a matter of time until we all join their ranks — or else.

“It’s basically a case of the trash panda army,” she tells Inverse. “The main issue is that raccoons are a generalist species, meaning they can meet their resource needs in a variety of habitats. They’re also urban-adapted.”


Flickr / AЯMEN

Cancellare adds that as human and raccoon populations grow, there’s more opportunity for human-wildlife conflict. In a way, humans have helped the raccoon army by being incredibly careless with our trash, which these critters eat like tiramisu. Really, we have only ourselves to blame for their rise.

“Not leaving out food (human or pet food), keeping trash cans locked up, and keeping roofs and sheds locked up will prevent them from moving in or hanging around your yard,” Cancellare says. “They are adorable, but they are a common rabies vector.”

Currently, the IUCN lists the northern raccoon (Procyon lotor) under “least concern,” so really, they’ll only continue to grow and get more sophisticated in their attacks. If humans continue to lead such careless lifestyles — treating the world as our litter box — hungry raccoons will seize the opportunity to destroy us. I, for one, welcome our trash panda overlords.

At this point, you probably should, too.

“Raccoons almost have thumbs, so I absolutely think they could take over the world,” Cancellare says. “They’re cute but sneaky, and they could take us all.”

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