The Wildlife Education Project (WEP) is inspired by the incredible and true story of wildlife rehabilitator Dorothy (Dot) Lee and Trouper the Blind Raccoon, who is now a federally licensed wildlife ambassador who helps to teach the public to treat wildlife and all living things with respect.
Trouper the Blind Raccoon is an actual living raccoon who as a baby survived a beating perpetrated by a human. He was left blind, brain damaged, and unable to feed or defend himself after a golfer beat him with a golf club when he was only eight weeks old. Dot rescued Trouper and nurtured him through incredible odds of survival, although she usually says, “Trouper rescued me.” He now lives with Dot who provides him with the near-24-hour care he requires. Most raccoons live two to three years in the wild, yet under her watchful eye, Trouper is now 12 years old.
Trouper the Blind Raccoon is not a pet, and the WEP teaches everyone that no one should attempt to keep any wildlife as pets.
His harrowing story inspired the founding of WEP in the hopes that educational intervention would stop other people from perpetrating acts of cruelty such as the one that has left Trouper brain damaged, disabled, and dependant for the rest of his life.
Through the years, Dot has taken Trouper into schools, groups and organizations to teach children and adults alike that we must respect all living things. Dot always asks her audience, “Why do you think the golfer hurt Trouper.” Her answer is always the same: “They didn’t respect him. We must respect.” Their story has led to a full curriculum of WEP teachings on the subject, as well as books and other published materials.
Trouper and Dot’s journey together has caught the attention of many media outlets, and their story has been chronicled by author Kyle Miller, a Fort Myers, Florida author and retired educator, and National Geographic’s “Unlikely Animal Friends” television series, among others.
“TROUPER—The True Adventures of a Blind Raccoon: The Beginning” is the children’s book by Miller, that includes the WEP’s core mission: to instill a lifelong respect for wildlife and the environment through education and empowerment of human kind to create change and take responsibility for the protection of all living things. The book can be purchsed here:
And, Trouper has his own children’s website:
The three WEP Pillars that are inspired by Trouper the Blind Raccoon and are the foundation of the organization are: Respect All Living Things, Educate Future Leaders, and Protect Our Wildlife