NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – An Idaho line worker who came to Central Oklahoma to help restore power can now use a little help himself after his beloved pet raccoon went missing in the state.
George Simmons, once upon a time, rescued a tiny raccoon that he named Coonsie. Simmons has a habit of taking in critters in need – squirrels, birds and even a beaver – getting them better and then getting them back into the wild.
Coonsie, however, did not want to leave Simmons, and she became his forever raccoon, or one of his two pet raccoons, actually. His other pet raccoon is named Lucy Lui.
Simmons’ girl Coonsie has since grown into a 50-pound fluffball. She loves veggies, potato chips and Arizona sweet iced tea.
But Coonsie is now missing.
Simmons went to the metro area to help restore power following the devastating ice storm that leveled trees and knocked out power to more than 500,000 OG&E customers. The power was restored thanks to Simmons and his fellow line workers, but Coonsie has disappeared.
Local residents are helping him and Lucy Lui search for Coonsie in the Norman area.
“I’m just overwhelmed. I’ve never seen… I’ve been all over the United States and never seen the hospitality like I have here. Never in my life,” Simmons said.
Coonsie had become Simmons’ righthand girl, and now there’s a void that only her return can fill.
“She goes everywhere with me, everywhere,” Simmons said. “When I open my door to go out of the house, she’s right here on my heels. I open the door, she gets in the truck. She goes everywhere with me.”
Simmons says he’s staying in Oklahoma until he finds Coonsie.
Helpful Oklahomans meet up with Simmons each night to search. The search party on Tuesday was 20 people strong. Simmons usually searches late into the night.
There are a few ways you may be able to tell Coonsie apart from the typical raccoon. For one, Simmons says she’s three pounds shy of a world record, which means she’s pretty big. Also, she’s more grayish in color and might walk right up next to you on the sidewalk since she is such a people person … or people raccoon, that is.