But it turns out that humans aren’t the only ones who go mad for this fast-food favorite. A group of raccoons has been caught on camera lining up for nuggets from a drive-thru window, with Reddit users describing the scene as “adorably polite.”
Posted to the r/EyeBleach subreddit by user u/5_Frog_Margin on June 20, in the video three raccoons can be seen neatly forming a line while McDonald’s staff hand them nuggets out of the window. After receiving their breaded chicken treat one by one, the raccoons scamper off into the night.
Redditors were impressed by the cordial creatures, with the post receiving 45,000 upvotes and more than 400 comments.
“Their little paws are so gentle and polite. oh god,” wrote whydoesthishapp3n.
“They form a single file and don’t cut,” said Woofles.
“No pushing, no squabbling, no begging for more. Some of us could learn a thing or two from these wild animals,” commented Puzzled Kumquat.
Despite having the nickname “trash panda,” raccoons are actually picky eaters. A 2021 study by the University of Georgia found that scavengers, including raccoons, preferred to eat the carcasses of herbivores rather than carnivores.
To monitor the raccoons and their fellow scavengers, remote cameras were set up in the forested area surrounding the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site. Lead researcher Miranda Butler-Valverde placed 79 carcasses around the site, 40 herbivores and 39 carnivores. Over the course of a month, scavengers ate 39 of the 40 herbivore carcasses, but only 10 of the carnivores.
This doesn’t mean that herbivores are tastier. Butler-Valverde put the preference for leaf-eaters down to their higher nutritional value and lower risk of disease than in carnivore carcasses.
Many users said that the raccoons have better manners than most human patrons.
“I worked at McDonalds when I was a teen,” said Valhalla. “The racoons are far more polite than many McDonald’s customers.”
Xioru agreed, writing: “Behaving better than half of the peoples i seen using drive thrus.”
While DaveyJoe suggested that “Polite people are just three raccoons in a trench coat.”
While these raccoons were able to successfully scavenge some snacks, others have not been so lucky. A trash panda was recently found sticking butt-first out of a roof in Santa Cruz, California, after munching its way through the tiles.
Newsweek has reached out to u/5_Frog_Margin for comment.