Backyard Bandits: The Extraordinary Side of the Often-Overlooked Animals in Our Own Backyard

Our favorite pesky friends will have their time to shine as Destination WILD celebrates our backyard bandits with a one-night event this Sunday, with the three premieres of Super Squirrel, Raccoon: Backyard Bandit, and The Secret Life of Mr. Fox.

We’ve see them at the park, down alleyways, and in our own backyards. Often overlooked, foxes, raccoons and squirrels aren’t considered rare safari animals – they are “backyard bandits” that coexist with us all.

We’re kicking off Sunday night with the one and only Super Squirrel, where we take a look at this all-too familiar backyard house guest to uncover its feats of agility, intelligence, and imagination. Not only do squirrels live among us, but they appear to thrive in our shared spaces. Squirrels hoard food to prepare for hard times, compete with rival squirrels, and negotiate the natural and man-made dangers around them. Perhaps there’s more to this “everyday-rodent” than meets the eye.

Following Super Squirrel is the premiere of Raccoon: Backyard Bandit, where our furry friend takes us on a journey as he travels through underground tunnels and rummages through our dumpster leftovers. This animal’s knack for mischief has earned him the peskiest reputation of all our wild neighbors. However, raccoons just don’t get that our abundant gardens and leftover throwaways aren’t there just for them and these misunderstandings often lead to trouble.

Do you have raccoons raiding your birdfeeder? Are they denning in your attic or chimney? There is an effective and most importantly humane solution – check out The Humane Wildlife Society’s recommendations for here.

There’s way more to the raccoon than just trashcan thievery. They are clever, flexible, and equipped with incredible senses that allow them to maximize every opportunity humans (often unintentionally) provide. Did you know that they have touch receptors on each paw? This helps them identify objects without having to see them, making finding food a no-brainer.

Finally, we wrap things up with the premiere of The Secret Life of Mr. Fox and discover just how cunning the sneaky fox is. With hidden cameras and tracking devices, we’ll uncover his everyday antics from popping up at sports events to living under a household garden shed. The cameras capture never-before-seen footage as we follow the true story of Mr. Fox.

Is your house an urban wildlife hotspot? Be a good neighbor and check out the Human Society’s many resources on resolving these wildlife conflicts and be sure to tune in for our furry friends on Sunday, March 8th at 8/7c on Nat Geo WILD! 

Can’t wait? Here’s a digital extra from the upcoming premiere of Super Squirrel featuring a different kind of squirrel. Wait until you see just how adorable this flying squirrel is – and how far it can glide!