Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Raccoon

It's not fair to take a picture of my first raccoon we trapped, they look so innocent and intelligent. The sad dog eyes with round masks around them, the "please let me go" whimper.

Finally the local animal control guy - actually two of them - came by to offload the critter way up the beach, since my dog was going absolutely nuts. Malia out dog is pretty easy with the possum now but the raccoon must be some kind of mortal enemy.

And a nasty one too, after posing like an angel for Lori and me. "Watch this," said the officer as he dangled a dog leash into the cage. The varmint yelled, hissed, spat, took a mighty swipe with a paw, and then bit the leash almost in two. "Don't stick your fingers in the cage." He used a six-foot snake pole to move the trap into his truck.

I asked the officer if raccoons were normal for the island and he said they don't see them for a long time and then they seem to be everywhere - I just started noticing them after the hurricane. Sure enough, another acquaintance says he say four down by the beach right next to a beach access.

One more tidbit: another islander who traps varmints now and then did an experiment and dabbled some nail polish on the possum that were taken up north by the town. Within a matter of two weeks, about half the pack was ... back in the trap again. Are you folks picking up some rather strange hitchhikers or what?


Anonymous said...

a Note on possums. Years ago when I was still a young pup in Iowa, we had possums. Called the animal control guy of a very small town who handed ME the trap. Anyway, the man tells me, possums will not normally cross moving water. However, if you don't get a stream between you and home the possum may beat you back!

Just a thought for those who only move em to the north end.


Sam said...

I think you're right. Curiously, the code enforcement officer said there were rules (no idea whose) that any feral animals that weren't dangerous had to be released within 10 miles of where they were found.

So when somebody asked about the raccoon I said the town took it up north, but "don't worry, it will be back."

Anonymous said...

I dont understand why they dont take them off the island and release them along Hwy 48 or mabey even in the Refuge. Letting them go up north dont make any sense to me. They will mever get off the island by themselves. Wonder how these animals get accross the causeway in the first place.