Mystery raccoon falls from Vienna window
Vienna council workers made an unusual discovery when they found an injured raccoon in the city’s central Landstrasse district, in front of an apartment building. They believe he fell out of one of the apartment windows, or from a balcony.
The young male was wearing a harness and had a bad cut on his chin. Council workers took him to the animal shelter in Vösendorf, where his wound was stitched up. He was also given painkillers and antibiotics and is being kept under observation for a few days, as it’s not known how high his fall was.
Volunteers at the shelter said that he appeared well nourished and that they believe he was kept as a pet.
Animals such as raccoons, which are native to North America, are allowed to be kept as pets in Vienna as long as the owner has registered them with the city's veterinary department and fulfilled certain legal requirements.
These include having a minimum enclosure space of 40 square metres across and three square metres high. The rules also recommend keeping a pair of raccoons, as the mammals usually live in groups in the wild.
"Raccoons are not cuddly toys and like most other wild animals are not really suitable pets to be kept in apartments,” said Marion Wenny from the Vienna Tierschutzverein animal protection group.
Tierschutzverein president Madeleine Petrovic said that for her keeping wild animals on pets bordered on cruelty and added that it was unlikely that the raccoon had been kept in a suitable enclosure, otherwise it would not have fallen out of a window.
So far, the raccoon’s owner has not come forward. The animal does not have a microchip and nobody from the apartment block has admitted to being his owner.