Caught on camera - the night a RACCOON paid a Northamptonshire couple a visit
A Northamptonshire husband and wife couldn't believe their eyes last night when a raccoon crawled in through the cat-flap and began rummaging through their drawers.
The woodland critter indigenous to North America even tried hanging off door handles and testing their pet cat's basket before lying on his back for a quick nap during the bizarre incident last night.
Accounts worker Marek Chapanionek was de-frosting the freezer at his and wife Caroline's home in Denton Road, Horton, when he heard a commotion late last night.
He said: "At first I heard some noises and I thought it must be a cat.
"I went to have a look and I saw a door upstairs was slightly open.
"But then when I went into the dining room the cat just rushed straight past me. I thought 'what's going on'?
"That's when I saw him - he was just rummaging in my wife's bag. He took a Nutri-Grain bar out and took it up to my daughter's bedroom."
Still in a state of shock, Mr Marek, followed the raccoon into the bedroom, where he saw the striped mammal rifling through his daughter's drawers.
Eventually, he managed to shepherd the unexpected visitor into the porch of the house - using a washing basket - where the raccoon had to remain overnight.
The Chapanioneks called the RSPCA, but inspectors for the animal charity were only able to come out this morning.
"We thought about letting him out - but we didn't know whether that was right or wrong," Marek added.
"We thought he must have ben someone's pet because he seemed to know how to open doors."
Though the creatures are not indigenous to the UK, the RSPCA has recently warned that a number of "raccoon dogs" - or tanukis- have been brought over to the country as pets.
Dr Ros Clubb, the RSPCA's wildlife and exotic animals specialist, even called on the Government to ban sales of the animals because so many have escaped into the wild.
It is not known where the Chapanionek's furry visitor came from, but the RSPCA has been contacted for comment.