Surprise in the city...

nineoneoneAugust 6, 2003

I am in a 2-bedroom apartment with my 2 kids (8 and 10) and my parents (to watch my 2 kids, 8 and 10) while we build our house. My DH is deployed overseas for the duration of the construction (he hopes!!). I came home last night, after a horrendous night at the 911 center where I work, rounded the a lovely family or racoons on my doorstep playing in the rhododendron! 3 fuzzy kits and a beautiful. They waited patiently while I went inside and got grapes for them, then played around in the trees for awhile. Talk about unexpected miracles!

Have a look....

Here is a link that might be useful: Robertson house

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Just a word of caution. Those cute critters are very mean and dangerous. They also can be rabid. A friend had one in their home. The house was completely destroyed by the animal. Feeding them might not be a good idea. I'm sorry I know they are beautiful, but please be carful, especially with you kids playing outside.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2003 at 7:01AM
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Have to agree with Debbick . . . be very very careful. Although they look really cute they are devils in disguise. I have been battling raccoons here for the past 3 years. Once you start feeding them they learn fast where the food source is. In my case it's my garden in which they caused extreme damage to. Have a look . .

Take note that all containers "had" beautiful annual plantings. There was plants even in the ground around them.

I have dealt with good ones, bad ones, even ones with full blown distemper which looks like rabies (foaming at the mouth, etc...)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2003 at 12:56PM
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Stop feeding these animals and call animal control. raccoons are dangerous. human interaction does not make them grow into pets. If anything they become less afraid of people and more willing to steal food from your garbage cans. they will also terrorize your neighbors who will be very unhappy when they realize that you've unwittingly invited these animals in for a free meal. Also, children (and adults) who abuse animals make easy targets out of critters that have less inhibition. have the animal control people remove the raccoons to a less populated area. you cannot afford the heartbreak of 'raising' these kits and having them turn on you, as they surely will.
best of luck,

    Bookmark   August 7, 2003 at 1:08PM
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I am well aware of the nature of racoons, their diseases and habits. I am not "raising" them, inviting them into the apartment or "abusing" them. Animal control will not come and get them because they aren't destryoing anything. I worked as animal control officer for a number of years and am currently a wildlife rehabber. That means I take animals that cannot survive in the wild for whatever reason and try to get them back where they belong. I also raise wild game birds for release (state certified) and so have had beavers, racoons, coyotes, etc at my previous house quite often. These animals have learned to come around after the spilled grains and yet remain wild! I haven't been tempted yet to cuddle any of them. I am in this apartment til my house on 5 acres is finished. I will have wildlife holding pens, flight pens and a treatment area.
I gave the things a couple of grapes, not a Thanksgiving dinner and they haven't returned. I was only trying to describe something that delighted me, not open up for a PETA blast for heaven's sake!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2003 at 5:33PM
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I agree with nineoneone with one thing . . ." Animal control will not come and get them because they aren't destroying anything." I have tried many many "too many" times to get somebody in my area to get rid of the numerous raccoons here. We are invaded with them. I remember one Fall night counting 15 in a clearing right outside my fence line. Nobody will come even though they "are" destroying" my property. I had to hire a private exterminator to set a Havaheart trap. Every night I would set it and in 1 weeks time I caught 4 and had them relocated.

You say your a wildlife rehabber which I think is wonderful. (is that the 911 center where you mentioned you work?) I thought that wildlife rehabber's know not to feed wild animal's. My husband who is an officer with the NYPD told me it's against the law to feed wild animals and the birds for that matter (something I'm guilty of but then again why do they sell wild bird seed in NY if it's against the law?).

Anyway, nobody is giving you a PETA blast. I certainly did not know that you were aware of the dangers of raccoons and I'm sure the others who responded to you where either.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2003 at 7:00PM
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I, too, think the coons are adorable, as well as the bunnies, squirrels, ect. However, folks around here have been asked to quit feeding the wildlife because they are not the only things that come along and eats the treats. We now have a number of harmless snakes and way too many mice who have figured some way to get into the buildings and all of us tenants have been battling a mousie war. You have to be very careful about using Decon and such because if your cat eats a mouse that has eaten Decon, it could effect the cat too. The worse I have had to deal with is one that died between the walls and it smells pretty bad. So don't feed the wildlife!!! Cyndi

    Bookmark   August 7, 2003 at 8:19PM
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i put 'raising' in quotes because if you are feeding them, you are having an effect on their formative period. This leads them to have less inhibition regarding people, allowing, as i said, an opportunity for michevious people easier access to these animals for less than pleasant intentions. i never accused you of being made no mention of being aware of the intricacies of encountering wildlife in your original post, and i'm sure as an animal control officer and wildlife rehabber you have come across other people who have never learned such things about animals. so please don't take offense that i was trying to prevent some potential heartache for you and your neighbors.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2003 at 8:20PM
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Couldn't access your photo, nineoneone. But my experience with rabid animals is that it's pretty easy to tell which ones are and are not. And common sense tells us how to behave accordingly. It sounds as though you know what you're doing considering your professional background.

Raccoons can be cute and long as you keep your distance and don't mess with the babies when mama is around.

And yes, I think it's a cute story and good on ya for not freaking out (like so many city dwellers do) at the very presence of an unsual four-legged creature in your space.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2003 at 7:43AM
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I liked your story. If it had been me, I would have felt good coming home to a neat scene like that. Sorry that your getting negative feedback. Enjoy.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2003 at 11:53PM
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I liked your story also ... years ago, my uncle raised a racoon and it was a "pet" in my grandparent's household... It would come in the house to eat and such, crawl up the screen doors, and all other kinds of fun stuff! ;)... They are and can be adorable little things even though they are wild creatures...

I couldn't see your picture either and I'd like too ....

K :)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2003 at 11:42PM
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Count me too as 'liking your story'. You did a good thing by feeding the racoons your grapes. I started doing that myself, when a racoon came around to my 3rd story porch, set to raid my garbage bin. Living in a large city, I'd never seen a racoon in this area before (and I stay up all night). Now, said racoon is living in a makeshift home I set up right outside my kitchen door, and I feed him every day, as he is part of the family now. Life has improved greatly for both of us.

Unfortunately, most people in society, as you can see by these responses, are selfish, hateful, fearful and ignorant of racoons. The fact is, racoons are intelligent, loving creatures, usually very friendly with a healthy fear of humans. Moreover, not a single person in the states ever died of rabies, which is what most people are afraid of, because of their ignorance and hatred of animals (which they like to call "pests", when in fact, it is HUMANS that are the true "pests" in nature).

Since humans are responsible for racoons migrating into suburbs and urban areas, ALL humans ought to take responsibility in feeding these creatures. Whether it means offering them healthy food remains (ie. grapes), or at least allowing them to sift through their garbage. Making a mess of your garbage or precious flower garden is a LOT less important than the welfare of an animal, like the racoon. People should learn to stop being so selfish and live with the wildlife who's lives they've uprooted.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2003 at 4:50AM
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Sorry "Tractatus" but I whole heartily disagree with you. If I lived in the country a occasional raccoon would not bother me. I live in a suburban development. We don't have 1 or 2. We have Many. Just last night I counted 8 in one tree. That's not even counting the ones in the other surrounding tree's. We are infested with them and it's just plain gross. Do you like & feed rats? Mice? Our raccoons here are just as bad.

Making a mess of my "precious flower garden" is a lot LESS important? Oh Please. Me spending over $150 dollars on plants just to have them destroyed by these beasts is important! Since you love them so much please stop by and take them all to your home. You can have them. I'm not fearful of them. I spend just about every night chasing them out of my "fence in" garden.

You wrote: " ALL humans ought to take responsibility in feeding these creatures." This just makes me laugh. Humans doing this "is" what's "causing" the problem.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2003 at 11:44AM
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Feeding wild animals is cute until they get into your garbage cans and spread trash all over the street. It happens whether you live in the city or country and is never fun. They like all wild animals are dangerous especially when cornered. I can't believe you work as a wildlife rehabber and think itÂs a good idea to feed wild animals.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2004 at 12:03AM
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Well, it was the wild animals' "home" long before we humans took over. You can't expect them to understand that they should find another home just because subdivisions are moving in around them.

Perhaps you could join with your local government, animal shelter or homeowners association and devise a HUMANE plan for relocating these poor animals, and HUMANELY discouraging others to take their place.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2004 at 4:47PM
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Why is it that people don't like 'possums, who will eat slugs and snails and not really cause any serious problems, but they love those awful raccoons, who strip orange trees, make a garbage mess, eat the fish out of the fish pond and get into your house if they can? I think the Great Spirit should switch the appearance to match the personalities of these two animals. Make the 'possum cute like the coon, and make the coon look like the nasty creature it is.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2004 at 12:59PM
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Two grapes wont hurt. What a lovely story. We have a lot of critters here and a big supply of predators to eat them. I am glad that feeding birds is not illegal where I live. I am feeding local birds, and migrators. As people build their perfect debris free decked and paved outdoor family rooms called yards the animals are getting crowded out. People here collect the cuttings from mowing lawns and bag it or burn it so grass seeds are never available. I have watched birds dive down and swallow weed-n-feed typed granules that were just put on lawns. Leaves are bagged so there goes nesting material. Lower pine tree branches are removed so there goes winter shelter. If the critters burrow in the ground they must be eliminated. If the animals chew on what is left they are considered pests. It is frustrating to loose a garden planting but it is also painful to see how cornered these critters are. And even when they are caught in a havahart trap and removed there is often a nest of little ones hidden who will die a sad death. I just feel there is room for someone to toss a grape now and then and enjoy the beauty of these formidable mammals raccoons. I would probably toss some food to a stray dog, despite the rabies risk there too

    Bookmark   May 24, 2004 at 10:44PM
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Well-spoken, Flowerkitty. You're a nice person.

I have heard that raccoons sort of move through an area and they aren't around permanently anyway.

Two weeks ago I was up very late working on a project when I heard the most awful racket outside. Now, I live in a city of about 450,000, not out in the country, so I was pretty surprised to see two coons fighting in front of my house, on the sidewalk.

They were bawling and biting and the fur was flying. I tried yelling and making a lot of noise, they totally ignored me. I even turned the hose on them, no effect. It appeared to be a fight to the death. Finally I threw my heavy key ring at them and hit one square on the butt. He finally noticed me and they ran away to continue their fight without the bothersome interruption of any more humans. So much for nature!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2004 at 11:56AM
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That's a great story and feeding some raccons a couple of grapes isn't going to cause some sort of rabid uprising of wild animals to run willy-nilly over the city streets destroying anything in their paths. Jeeze, folks.

Incidentally, I love possums too and I've happily left food down by the creek for the raccoons and possums that shared my property with me. And yes, I even rehabbed an old, hurt possum once. She probably weighed 30lbs easily, but she rehabbed pretty quickly and I set her free.

Oh, and I never minded the young beaver that would sneak up on to the front porch to eat the cat food I left out for the strays either.

I don't blame you one bit, I would've been utterly thrilled and felt like I'd been given a little gift too. :)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2004 at 9:03PM
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Would this post die already. Your right Pele about feeding a few grapes is not going to cause raccoons to run rabid around the "CITY" but what it does it actually do? It gets wildlife more dependent on humans for food. It leads them not to be afraid of humans. Have you ever witness a raccoon charge at a person before? I have . . . it charged at me and I did not even feed the devil. Some close neigbors do and this is what happens. This is not a thread about feeding country raccoons. These are city raccoons which are very different.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2004 at 8:25AM
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all creatures serve a purpose

    Bookmark   June 10, 2004 at 10:35PM
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