Skip to comments.Record-setting raccoon dies; weight hit nearly 75 pounds
Posted on 05/11/2004 7:45:01 AM PDT by Born Conservative
PALMERTON, Pa. - A junk-food crazed critter billed as the world's weightiest raccoon has died, ending a 10-year life marked by more than a few midnight snacks.
Bandit will no longer raid his owner's pantry, hunting down chips and cheese curls, Froot Loops and French Fries.
"I haven't been eating, I haven't been sleeping," a bereaved Deborah "Pepper" Klitsch said Monday, two days after health problems forced her to euthanize her favorite pet.
Klitsch - who lives in Palmerton, about 90 miles west of New York City - denied the occasional charge that she overfed the rotund raccoon, whose weight ballooned to nearly 75 pounds, three times the average for his breed.
He was born with a bad thyroid gland, Klitsch said.
When he hit 52.5 pounds in 1999, Bandit's girth garnered him a spot in Guinness World Records.
Klitsch vowed to lock her cabinets, but Bandit continued to plump up, registering 54.4 pounds in late 1999, then 64.9 pounds in 2001 and finally pushing past 70.
Klitsch, a foster mother, told the tale to various news outlets, including a British radio show, and Bandit snagged a spot on cable TV's Food Network.
Back home, the raccoon was a regular at Ice Cream World, where owner Tim Pitts would watch him sit in Klitsch's sport utility vehicle, holding a cup of blue raspberry Slush with his paws and drinking through a straw.
"He was a good customer," Pitts said. He had sold a birthday cake for Bandit a few days before he died.
Klitsch believes that Bandit always thought he was a dog.
Her Collie had raised him as one of her pups, nursing the young animal and giving him tongue baths.
He started to decline this spring, following the deaths of two of the puppies he had grown up with. Bandit had also developed a cancer-like growth on his side.
"I could see he was suffering, because he stopped eating," Klitsch said. "In the whole entire world he was my best friend."
Is this one of those situations where the pet and the owner are (were) look-a-likes?
Another shot of Bandit here.
"...and to this very day, raccoons all over the world whisper amongst themselves about the Legend of Bandit, the only raccoon to have ever attained Raccoon Nirvana...."
So the guy asked, "Where on Earth did you get that big thing?" and Bandit said, "Would you believe it started as a wart on my butt?"
You win the search contest.
PRAY FOR MOJO...
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