An action-filled laundry competition in a zoo in central Siberia has seen a female raccoon beat her husband at washing clothes — though not entirely through fair play.
Masha and Artyom, a couple, squared off against each other at the Royev Ruchei Zoo in the city of Krasnoyarsk last weekend, with the raccoon to damage the least articles of clothing to be declared the winner, Ngs24.ru local news site reported Tuesday
The raccoons, who reportedly launder everything they can get their paws on, including buckwheat porridge, were issued with a wash basin and several articles of old baby clothes each.
But the event went awry when Masha started biting her husband in the ear, chasing him away from his wash basin to ruin his chances of victory.
Unfazed, Artyom then retreated to a small pool in their cage to complete the challenge, but was later disqualified for eating the buttons off a rag, the report said.
Biologists have offered differing explanations as to why raccoons douse things in water.
One theory claims they follow a fixed behavioral pattern that, in the wild, sees them clean food scavenged on muddy river shores. According to other biologists, raccoons wash in order to kill small prey, essentially 'laundering' fish, frogs and birds to death.