Friday, June 1, 2012

Masked Burglars in the Night

Hmmm. Looks a bit interesting . . . 
   It was the 3 a.m. clattering outside the bedroom window that told me he was back. He was into the recycling box looking for a snack, although the cans and bottles had been rinsed to eliminate tempting odours.
   The next night, high-pitched shrieking and snarling beside the recycle box told me there was more than one. They were fighting over who would be first to check out the box.
   Raccoons are mostly creatures of the night. They usually go about their food forays in the darkness, masked and noisy burglars who give no consideration to people trying to sleep. Some are bold and will appear in daylight and ignore shouting and pot banging displays meant to make them go back to where they belong.
. . . Don't think anyone will mind.

 When a raccoon becomes a true nuisance, we get the wire box trap out.  Nothing gets hurt, except their pride.
   A couple years back we had a persistent raccoon that we named Hector. I would trap him, release him and discover him back a day or so later. Once I took him across the lake and released him. Two days later, we had a raccoon back. He looked like the one that I had brought across the lake, but that was impossible. It was a one mile swim back. Or, a hike of many miles around the lake.
   I trapped him again, spray painted his tail fluorescent orange, then boated him across the lake for release. Two days later, I was startled to see a raccoon standing on the deck and looking in the patio door window. He had an orange tail.
I caught him again and transported him 10 miles to a municipal dump. I released him and told him to go crazy in the compost piles.
   Our latest raccoon has started to appear during the day and has an obsession about the bird feeders. I haven’t been able to see if he has a faded orange tail. If he does, I think I’ll give up the trapping and invite him to stay around as long as he wants. Any critter that persistent deserves a break.

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