Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Problem of Raccoons

The problem of Raccoons. Out in the country raccoons are great away from major populations. However, unfortunately for cats, dogs and people, raccoons now live in storm drains, wood sheds and anywhere they can sleep without being disturbed during the day. Also, where I live there are many deer which is okay as long as you know where they are and they know where you are and you don't have a dog off a leash. Because if you do then there will be trouble between the deer, buck and the dog. And usually, the dog loses this tussle because deer are bigger and faster and have extremely sharp hooves that they really know how to use. Bucks with antlers simply throw a dog twenty feet with their horns. I've seen dogs that have had this happen with their chest flesh torn all the way to where you can see their rib bones.

A few days ago our friends dog "footsie" which is a greyhound chihuahua mix went over to explore a raccoon. The raccoon says to himself, "Wow. Dinner running towards me and went to work with teeth and claws on the dog." Our friends boyfriend grabbed a chair from a nearby house and knocked the Raccoon of the dog so the dog lived. A quick trip to doggie Urgent Care and stitches and antibiotics and the dog could walk with us in the forest with our two dogs today just 2 or 3 days later.

My Daughter's friends father also said his dog had been attacked recently also. So maybe its the time of year going in towards winter.

Three years ago we lost our dog which was a Jack Russell Corgi mix. She obviously, was being the Jack Russell side when she attacked the Raccoon who was in our trash can. Our other dog knew enough to stay away from crazy raccoons and survived. She got the raccoon too so they never came back because she had his blood all over her mouth but the raccoon got her pretty good in the chest and she died of kidney failure about a month later.

The problem with raccoons is that older folks whose kids have moved away feed them when they are young and make them pets. However, then they just breed and become a problem for everyone in the town they are in. Survival of the fittest takes hold then and the raccoons that survive are always the biggest meanest ones that are a danger then to children and pets at night.

Within the past few years there have been several incidents where a family of raccoons have gone after pets and female owners of the pets have tried to step in only to wind up in the hospital themselves with scratches and bruises from the family of raccoons.

I have a great deal of respect for all animals. The most problems come when people unfamiliar with raccoon behaviors leave their pets out when it gets dark or who don't leash their pets when they walk with them at night. I have no problem walking alone at night because I have excellent night vision but even I if I hear raccoon or deer sounds turn on my flashlight to investigate so unfortunate events don't occur. If raccoons or deer or mountain lions are in your area learn all you can about them. They are not pets and if you are ignorant of their behaviors at night they will put you in the hospital or worse.

I have had interesting experiences in my life with porcupines, skunks, deer,mountain lions, raccoons and bears, black, brown and Grizzly and Buffalo. In some ways the least dangerous animals are the deer. However, I know of one instance of people in Yosemite National Park who were from Europe put their 5 year old on the back of a deer for a picture and the deer killed the child in about 2 seconds. Whether they live in cities, in the country, or totally in the wild these animals are wild. They can be nice sometimes but other times they can be deadly. Not to realize this is to put yourselves and your children and pets in unnecessary danger.

By the way, the animal that kills the most tourists in the United States actually is the Buffalo. People think they are cows. No, they are not. The buffalo bulls might even try to stand up to a Grizzly.

A Buffalo simply knocks you down and stomps you flat. It only takes about a second or two and you're gone. Don't forget to respect these animals, big or small, they are wild. Without your respect for these animals you endanger not only yourself, your children and your pets but also the wild animals themselves.

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