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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 October, 2003, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Cornwall's racoons go native
Racoon eating pasty
Racoons are well-known for their love of food
Five residents of a Cornish zoo are the latest to develop a taste for the county's most famous dish.

The baby racoons at Newquay Zoo are shunning their normal diet of eggs, fruit and doughnuts in favour of the more traditional Cornish pasty.

Zoo keepers say the pasties are an ideal food to help the creatures put on weight before they go into semi-hibernation for the winter.

The animals' penchant for the savoury snack was first discovered when pasties left over from the zoo's cafe were fed to them at the end of each day.
You can tell they were born in Cornwall - they go straight for the pasties
John Meek, zoo-keeper

Pasty-maker Proper Cornish supplies the zoo with pasties and Richard Lawrie from the firm said he was "delighted" the racoons liked them so much.

"You can see their eyes light up when I take Cornish pasties into their enclosure at feeding time," said keeper John Meek.

"You can tell they were born in Cornwall - they go straight for them."

Racoons are well-known for their love of all kinds of food.

In their native North America they are considered a pest as they scavenge through dustbins for scraps.


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