A RACCOON was left swimming for its life after it accidentally ended up on a lawyer’s yacht.
A Facebook video shot by lawyer Thomas Cope shows the little animal, which had wandered onto his yacht and kept quiet until it was well out to sea, being shooed off the boat into open water miles from shore.
The video is captioned: “‘Trash panda came out from hiding 20 miles from dock! Anyone else had these things squat on their boat?”
Cope warns Facebook users to mute the sound if they “don’t like profanity” and he does in fact yell and curse at the frightened creature constantly through the clip.
He yells: “Get off my f*****g boat! What the f**k is wrong with you?” as he shoos the terrified animal away with a boat hook.
Eventually the raccoon falls off the boat, and is left paddling around in the Gulf of Mexico 20 miiles for safety as Cope laughs “So long, sucker!” and instructs a friend to put the engine in gear.
“Get off my f*****g boat! ”
Some commenters have pointed out that raccoons can carry rabies although there has never been a documented case of a racoon bite infecting a human.
After the video went viral, sparking a social media outcry, Cope has apologised for his actions and said he wished there had been some way to return animal to safely to shore.
“Knowing raccoons can be rabid and unpredictable, the only realistic option we could think of in the moment was to get the raccoon off the boat.” he said.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was made aware of the video and gave a statement to ABC Action News.
“It is still too early to speculate as to what violations took place in this incident. However, the FWC would like to state that we believe these vile acts of animal cruelty have no place in our state or anywhere else.”