Gardening for Wildlife forum: For anyone who likes Raccoons or thinks they should be respected as wildlife

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Jan 28, 2016 2:15 PM CST
My neighbor just had the police come and shoot a raccoon outside in his driveway with a gun! They went in his garage with a catch pole and outside point blank shot it. Very awful as we saw it. We have cameras on our property and haven't seen raccoons anywhere this time of year in the snow, so how it got in his connected garage makes me think they are living in his house and being its slightly warm mabye it came out of hibernation? He has food pantry in his garage which is stupid as he has a mice problem. I don't know if the raccoon was sick or ate the mouse poison he has (or put down on purpose to kill it). If it was trying to escape why not open your garage so it runs out? I don't know the full details so I can't say. But my neighbors hate us for feeding cats and I see them trying to use this against us when the raccoons in warmer weather are passing through, even though they are everywhere where we live. Something doesn't seem right, and why isn't animal control or wildlife called? I just think it's pretty cruel, especially knowing this neighbor hates all animals, even birds pooping in his driveway triggers a fit from him trying to scare them off, nut job! Personally, outside is the animals homes and you can't get rid of wildlife, if there weren't so many houses and more natural areas these animals would have places to live, we've had WAY too many old, large trees removed in the area which raccoons used to live in now where are they supposed to go to live?
There's been other reports of cops catching and shooting raccoons when the town law has nothing about that. People in the area were outraged as it could of simply been a raccoon that was pregnant looking for a nesting area, or got trapped, and they shot a healthy animal for no reason.
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Cat Lover Birds Cactus and Succulents Butterflies
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JuneOntario
Jan 29, 2016 11:21 AM CST
How sad that the raccoon had to die. I like raccoons, although they don't always agree with me on what behavior is acceptable.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Jan 29, 2016 11:39 AM CST
I had a bit of a scuffle with 'coons a couple years ago getting into my barn cat food. It was rather an enjoyable battle of wits. They easily figured out how to open the drawer I kept the bag of food in, so I put the food in a plastic tote inside the drawer. They figured out how to pop the top of the tote, so I got a more securely locking tote. They ate a hole in the top. I finally prevailed by putting a clasp gate latch on the drawer. The 'coons finally gave up and I've not had any problems for a couple years now.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Cat Lover Birds Cactus and Succulents Butterflies
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JuneOntario
Jan 29, 2016 3:48 PM CST
The only unfortunate thing about them is that, whereas people "say it with flowers", raccoons "say it with poop". Many's the time I've had to go out with a trowel to scoop a raccoon message off my deck, bird table, or planter box. I know that the message on the planter box means, "I just got pricked by your spiny cactus and I didn't like it." On the bird table, it means, "When the food arrives, it's mine." On the deck, "I was here!"
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
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mcash70
Jan 31, 2016 5:28 PM CST
That's very sad Keith, I would be very upset seeing an animal shot like that. Sad
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 31, 2016 7:05 PM CST
I would too, that is just sad. But that being said, I do have to trap raccoons and have them removed by the Animal Services at least a couple of times a year. They come into my pool cage through the cat door, and try to get into the house. Thankfully the cat door into the house is activated by the cat's microchip, so they have not so far been able to get in. But if they get desperate, they could pull that cat door open and get in which would be terrible. My cat defends her door very fiercely, but she is now 15 and could not possibly survive a real fight with a raccoon.

For a while the Animal Services were re-locating them but now I think they are just putting them down. They are rabies vectors and when they get into urban areas and are not afraid of people any more they are a danger. Some stupid person in our neighborhood actually feeds them so they keep coming around . . ..
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Jan 31, 2016 7:34 PM CST
Wow. I had no idea an animal chip could activate a door. Not sure how I feel about that...
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 31, 2016 8:12 PM CST
Works a lot better than the magnets on a collar, Deb, which my cat consistently lost at $7 a pop. If you have your animal RFID chipped, (which everyone should) why not? The door has a chip reader in it so it will only let in the animal it has "learned" the code for.

The door was sort of expensive, but well worth it as it has definitely prevented us from having raccoons get into the house. We've had it for 4 years and as long as we change the batteries on it regularly, it's worked like a charm.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Jan 31, 2016 8:22 PM CST
I'm a bit sketchy with the whole chip thing. Not sure why. I think I read too many sci-fi books as a youth or something. When I got my current dog, she was already chipped, and I asked my vet about removing it. He thought I was nuts. I probably am. For your application, it sounds like a great thing - cat in, all others out. My son had a raccoon get in his house through his pet door and it really created a mess, plus he felt as if he'd been burgled. Creeped him out.

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Carl Boro
Milpitas, CA (Zone 10b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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coboro
Jan 31, 2016 8:28 PM CST
Raccoons carry raccoon round worm that can be fatal to dogs, horses and people. If you breathe in the dust of dried poop, you can become infected.
They look cute but they are becoming a serious problem. As Deb found out, they are smart and we are inadvertently breeding them to become smarter.
Watch the PBS show on urban raccoons.

In California it is illegal to trap and release a wild animal into another area. If they are trapped, they must be killed. That being said, shooting does seem a little extreme. There are more humane ways to euthanize an animal. And better yet, don't attract them with food.
Carl
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Jan 31, 2016 8:38 PM CST
When we were camping along the Oregon coast a few years back, a raccoon climbed up our camper steps and peered through the screen door at us. Ah, how cute, I thought. It left, only to return with its entire extended family, who all clambered up the steps and actively tried to open the screen door. Yikes - that went from cute to creepy pretty quickly.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Feb 1, 2016 1:16 AM CST
Our area has little to no natural areas, just houses with garbage cans, how else are they supposed to survive? Natural food is scarce they would starve if not for our garbage.

Seems the humans need to be kept in check and we wipe out so many species. I don't like seeing houses I like wilderness and wildlife living how they were born to, uninterrupted by human settlement.
Name: Carl Boro
Milpitas, CA (Zone 10b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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coboro
Feb 1, 2016 3:11 AM CST
Watch the PBS show on raccoons. Raccoons have very quickly become urban animals. Urban raccoons live longer than wilderness raccoons. Their biggest threat besides cars is that they are eating our diet.
Carl
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 1, 2016 8:54 AM CST
Urban raccoons should want to move away from urban areas to wilderness. Nature dictates they should be afraid of people but they're not. They would survive - or not - where they were meant to be, and not be a nuisance and health menace to people as well. Urban raccoons probably do not survive when relocated because they are no longer adapted to find food and shelter in wilderness. Therefore, urban raccoons are really no longer "wildlife". They're in the same class as rats - a menace.

It's true, we have taken over a lot of their former natural environment. But they have also expanded into areas where they were not native, like most of Florida! They're very adaptable, which has worked to change their whole behavior but not to anyone's advantage.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Feb 1, 2016 3:25 PM CST
I applaud them for being so adaptable, many animals can't adapt so easily and have gone extinct.

I also think they are vital to the ecosystem along with rats, flies, and vultures. Imagine all that organic rotting garbage and roadkill we'd have piling up if not for these scavengers! I'd hate to imagine the foul smell from rotting food nothing ate especially with all the garbage cans and dumps nearby my house!

As far as diseases, many animals can carry diseases but that doesn't mean we all get sick, but we treat some species better than others even knowing this. (Our pets carry diseases too!) The #1 disease threat to people are other people...
[Last edited by keithp2012 - Feb 1, 2016 3:29 PM (+)]
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Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Feb 1, 2016 4:34 PM CST
Well I think they look amazing but I don't count.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Feb 7, 2016 4:29 PM CST
I think killing an animal should be the very last resort when we choose to be intolerant of their natural behavior. Unfortunately it is some times the lazy/easiest choice.

My thoughts/opinions are long on this topic but I will spare you

short version history
My father was a coon hunter
I have had raccoons as pets (not something I promote)
I have been in wildlife rescue/ rehab and education
Currently a wildlife release site

personally I have to admire the adaptability and resourcefulness of this animal.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Feb 7, 2016 4:36 PM CST
Cinda, it is a tough line. I have no issues with raccoons, but do struggle with beavers. I've been trying to co-exist with them, but they are not always reciprocal.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Garden Procrastinator Herbs Vegetable Grower Plant Identifier
Organic Gardener Keeps Goats Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Composter Houseplants
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gardengus
Feb 7, 2016 5:10 PM CST
I have seen your post on beaver issues and I know how destructive their behavior can be .
I have only seen one good solution to their Dam building and it evolved putting a drainage pipe right through the dam.
Very expensive and takes big equipment ....my real question would be with that solution is what if the beaver moves Shrug! just down a bit and causes the same problem.

Now my grandfather had a beaver problem , he used dynamite Smiling after three years they moved up stream and became some one else's problem. Confused
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Feb 8, 2016 10:00 AM CST
We are resigned to beavers, but are trying to manage the pond level. Their main dam is downstream which is problematic. I am hoping those landowners will get on board with management, but not holding my breath. It is not negatively impacting them. It would be very cool to build a bridge, and we have an engineer friend, my sister was an operator, and her husband was a pile buck - so all the know-how, just not the $$$.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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