My sister’s beau would not believe her when she told him that raccoons can be rather ornery creatures.
I confirmed this with a few stories as did John who is always amazed at how tourists in the park stop to take pictures of the nocturnal mammals. They can be dangerous, can hiss at you, not be intimidated and carry rabies. There was an outbreak of rabies in skunks and raccoons in Stanley Park not too long ago in fact [Stanley Park Ecology, 2004]. Recently the animals have become quite the nuisance in the suburbs as well.
A pest control expert says the Lower Mainland appears to be experiencing an upswing in the number of raccoons being born…
…One cat owner living in the in Tsawwassen’s north end suspects raccoon’s are responsible for the loss of two neighbourhood cats. Only yesterday, a Tsawwassenite living on 53A Street came home to find five raccoons in his kitchen, threatening his cat. Police had to shoot one of the raccoons after the homeowner injured it with a golf club. [News 1130] [Story also on Canada.com]
We kind of knew the population was on the rise when John spotted a raccoon mommy and daddy engaging in ‘private’ activities in a tree outside our apartment. When I arrived home from work they were still at it… 5 hours later.
We usually giggle at tourists taking photos of these creatures mostly because they seem so ‘everyday’ to us. But it’s a little more than that, you never know with these animals, especially the ones you find in the back alleys downtown, those urbanized raccoons are the worst, eh.