If wanting Marc "Coon Rippy" Brown to keep his pet raccoon is wrong, I don't want to be right. I'm sorry, I know it's illegal to keep wild animals. It's dangerous and can be bad for them. But have you seen this guy?
Let me back up a bit. The self-professed hillbilly from Gallatin, Tennessee, recently took the Internet by storm when a video of him dancing with his pet raccoon, Gunshow, to Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools" went viral. There he is in his overalls, jamming out and dancing with abandon while his raccoon dances with him ... sort of. He followed that up with a video of him showering with another pet raccoon, Rebekah. They're both all sorts of weird and wonderful.
Only not everyone agrees about the wonderful part.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency got wind of his unusual pets and stepped in to enforce the law. While Gunshow has since passed away, they confiscated Rebekah. They say it's illegal to keep wild animals as pets and took her to a wildlife rehabilitation center.
Now poor Brown is left coonless, and he wants his pet back. He's appealing to the governor and has taken to the media to try and get his story out there. He says that while he did break the law, plenty of people do so all the time, and just because he posted a cool video, he shouldn't be punished. In an interview with Vice, he said:
My argument with them was that if this is the case, then every elementary school and biology class in high school and college is in violation if they've got tadpoles in an aquarium or a garter snake, or even if a child brings a box turtle to show-and-tell.
But when you have a raccoon on your shoulder in the shower and you make a viral video, if you've already had one viral video under your belt, it kind of draws a little attention to yourself.
As a former animal control officer himself, he says that not everyone should have a pet raccoon. He says you have to have some experience and know what you're doing.
You can't just raise it if you haven't a clue what to do. And I happen to know. It's just one of my areas of expertise. Some people are experts in electricity. Some people are experts at working on automobiles. Some people are experts at heart surgery. I happen to be an expert at whispering to 'coons, I guess.
So no, he's not setting the best example, but if ever there was an exception to be made to this law, this has got to be it. Here he is making his plea to get Rebekah back. See if you don't agree.
Do you think he should get Rebekah back?
Image via YouTube