Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
This is the moment a girl pretends to rap and dance along with a raccoon in an apparently funny viral post but local reports now say the animal’s ‘dance’ was actually caused by psychosis due to being kept in captivity.
Yulia Tabak, age not disclosed, posted the video for her 26,100 online followers during a visit to a local zoo on 1st June.
She lives in the city of Nizhnevartovsk in the Russian federal subject of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, but it is unclear which zoo the footage was taken in.
The apparently funny video shows a raccoon mimicking Yulia’s dance moves while she pretends to rap.
The viral video has been viewed over 9.3 million times since it was posted.
Local newspaper Life recently said that despite the video’s seemingly humorous tone, there is a much darker truth behind it which came to light in the comments section of the post.
The report said the raccoon’s movements had nothing to do with dancing but were a sign of Zoochosis, a psychological disorder that can develop in captive animals.
Zoochosis can manifest in the form of repetitive movements with no apparent goal or function similar to the ones the raccoon was seen doing in the video.
The condition is caused by stress or depression which some animals in captivity may experience.
The condition was first coined by the animal rights activist and documentarian Bill Travers in 1992. (https://bit.ly/3uQK0mj)
Yulia’s video received mixed comments with some netizens asking that the video be taken down as it was not right to laugh at the raccoon.
However, others defended Yulia with ‘Tanyusha Tidneva’ saying: “She probably did not know that it was not funny at all.”
It is unclear which zoo the footage was filmed. There have been no official statements about the reportedly ill raccoon.