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Raccoons are a North American animal, so in Ukraine they are special.

Russian POW asks government to swap him for Kherson raccoon
VIDEO 20.11.2022 18:28 https://www.ukrinform.net
A Russian prisoner of war (POW) has offered to exchange himself for a raccoon stolen by Russians from the Kherson zoo.

The relevant statement was made by Kherson Regional Council First Deputy Head Yurii Sobolevskyi on Facebook, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. https://www.facebook.com/100028374940771/videos/665886308396535
The video shows the Russian soldier saying:
“I, Oleg Mokashov, a private, born in 1975, from Novosibirsk, am asking the government of Russia to swap me for the Kherson raccoon.”

According to Sobolevskyi, in terms of combat potential, that man offered a completely equal exchange, and the Ukrainian side would even benefit.

A reminder that, in addition to lots of other valuable items, when retreating from Kherson, Russian invaders stole a raccoon from a local zoo
https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3618460-russian-pow-asks-government-to-swap-him-for-kherson-raccoon.html (slightly corrected for clarity.)

Russian troops caught stealing raccoon from Kherson zoo amid retreat” Nov 14 https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/russian-troops-caught-stealing-raccoon-from-kherson-zoo-amid-retreat

The raccoon(s) and other animals were apparently taken to a lion park in Crimea, which sounds rather ominous for them.

Russian troops are caught stealing a RACOON from Kherson zoo and bundling a llama into a van amid reports of wide-spread looting from retreating soldiers
* Racoon picked up by tail as it appears to struggle in attempt to escape capture
* Russian zookeeper also seen bundling llama into back of a van with the racoon
* Wolves, peacocks, a donkey and six other racoons also taken to Russia by forces
* Troops accused of looting Kherson as they retreat from the Ukrainian city 
PUBLISHED: 08:17 EST, 14 November 2022 | UPDATED: 08:17 EST, 14 November 2022
“Known as the ‘Lion Man”, Mr Zubkov was convicted for negligence last year after one of his tigers bit a 1-year-old boy’s finger off… 
However, Mr Zubkov claims he was assigned by Russia’s leader of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, to travel to Kherson on a special mission to take the animals… away from the danger of war
.”. https://web.archive.org/web/20221114134009/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11425737/Russian-troops-caught-stealing-RACOON-Kherson-zoo-amid-reports-looting.html

Embattled Owner Of Crimean Safari Park Arrested Amid Case Of Lion Bite
February 03, 2020 19:25 GMT By RFE/RL’s Crimea.Realities Excerpt: “A district court in Russia-controlled Crimea has jailed an embattled safari park owner in connection with his failure to appear for a court proceeding related to a lion biting a park visitor…. The Crimea Desk reported that Zubkov — who supported Moscow’s illegal annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 but has since been in conflict with the Russia-installed authorities — was handcuffed and taken to a police station… The Taigon park once attracted 500,000 visitors a year, but has struggled since Russia’s 2014 annexation. In a 2016 video shot by RFE/RL, Zubkov said that he looked back fondly on the days when he — a Russian — could live in Crimea under Ukraine and build safari parks. “Unfortunately, those days have passed,” he said. Zubkov’s jail sentence comes after a public spat with Sergei Aksyonov, the Russia-imposed head of Crimea, that ended in a compromise.…https://www.rferl.org/a/embattled-lion-park-owner-arrested-in-crimea/30415251.html

The Belogorsk Lion Safari-Park Taigan is a safari park in the Belogorsk Region of Crimea. It is the largest European breeding ground for lions and other large predator mammals. As of 2019 about 80 lions and 50 tigers roamed over the area of over 30 hectares (70 acres; 0.3 km2) of Crimean foothills by the Taigan Reservoir…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taigan_(safari_park)

Replying to @ValBodin “Replying to @ValBodin The liberation of Crimea will begin with a zoo. The raccoon is not simple … believe me!https://twitter.com/SergoUA2/status/1591360031886573568

Link: https://youtu.be/84q5ngZRl8c

Top photo for illustration purposes:
USFWS Midwest Region, Flickr:
Raccoon in a tree
We spotted this raccoon at Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. Shortly after, it disappeared into a tree cavity. Photo by Jessica Bolser/USFWS, Public Domain

Quick Facts
Scientific Name: Procyon lotor

Distribution/Habitat: Common throughout North America from Canada to Panama, and they live in tree cavities or burrows.

Average Size: Average length 23.75 to 37.5 inches,
average weight 15-40 pounds 

Average Life Span: 2-3 years

Diet: Omnivores. Eats berries, insects, rats, quirells, fish and snakes to name a few