Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Raccoon Rivalry

"Raccoon" any of various related animals of the genus Procyon: nocturnal carnivore, having a masklike black stripe across the eyes, a sharp and a bushy, ringed tail, native to North and Central America (from www.dictionary.com).

Hubby is currently outside "battening down the hatches". In this particular case, he's enclosing any gaps between our shed, the ground and other potential openings. Considering the climbing, digging and ripping skills of the varmint against which he is preparing, his efforts might be considered meagre at best. Let me explain.

One evening about a month ago, our mini dog, went berserk. We were unclear as to whether she was barking at windmills,  yelping at flying lint, or angered by an intruder. We checked more closely and discovered it was in fact, the latter. A raccoon dared step onto our deck. Despite being on display by a large spotlight and barked at by a vicious dog, the masked marauder went about its business. It continued prying at the well sealed rubbermaid bin containing our winter stash of birdseed.

We determined that we did not want the critter to find our premises too cozy. I immediately picked up the dog (for my protection) as hubby went outside, grabbed some snow shovels, and "noised" the animal away with endless banging and clanging. It seemed to work. There were no more sightings.

Our neighbour had been away on an extended vacation. Last week, he commented that there were noises in his roof area which kept him awake all night. He also saw animal deposits on his deck. We mentioned the raccoon. He called an exterminator who came, crawled on the roof and set a one-way chicken wire trap. The animal could get out, just not back in. Everyone soon learned that this was a bad plan.

Not only did the raccoon refuse to use the exit provided, she, and we now know it is a "she", began to rip out the soffits and facia in her attempt to escape. This week, the exterminator came back. This is what he removed from the house. It could be worse. Raccoons often give birth to as many as seven kits. Unfortunately, mom is still up there, waiting for nightfall.

The plan is to entice her out, through yet another one way cage to retrieve her babies, who will be strategically placed on the roof. Since raccoons are nocturnal, she is expected to relocate them during the night. The only problem with this plan is that she will have to go elsewhere.

We were told that trapping or relocation by the exterminator is not allowed. We were also given his business card. Hopefully, this adventure will not be continued.

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