This Raccoon Uses a Rock to Demand Succor

Succor is both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it refers to assistance and help, particularly in times of hardship; as a verb it means to help, to bring assistance to. It comes from the Latin word succerrere, which means “To run to the help of.” It found its way into the English language around the second half of the 16th century.

Technically, succor can be any kind of support. It’s usually used to refer to food, but it could also be clothing, money, or anything that would help someone in great need. The word succor is often used to indicate that resources are needed desperately. The word succor is often used to imply that the person receiving it has been saved.

Historically, it also meant military help to someone in need: for example, a lord may need succor from his king in the form of soldiers.

The video starts with a mama raccoon standing on an outdoor porch. The raccoon has previously eaten all of the cat food that was left outside, and is now hungry for more! The mama raccoon wants succor for her and her little cubs. Raccoons are clever animals with paws that are almost like human hands. So just like anyone that wants something from inside a house, she knocks!

The hungry raccoon grabs a stone in both hands and, using both paws, she rattles the stone on a glass door! With pleading eyes, the raccoon continues to rattle the rock against the glass in a way that is very cute, very clever, and, for the homeowner, a little bit annoying.

But the homeowner decides to succor the mama raccoon, and gives her a bowl of cat food! After taking a few bites of cat food, the raccoon grabs a handful and holds it protectively. She spills a few pieces, but holds on to most of it.

Usually, raccoons will avoid humans. But when humans build homes near a natural raccoon habitat, the raccoons may become used to the humans over time. When a raccoon gets familiar enough with humans, they can use their natural intelligence—and unexpected cuteness—to get the succor they need.

It isn’t always a good idea to succor a wild animal: for one thing, if you do it once, they may come back later. But it’s hard not to appreciate this clever little critter.


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