Last year's baby coons are back! Yay Hooray!!!

selkieMay 9, 2007

Last year, Mama Raccoon kept her four babies in the maple tree by my patio. They all got used to the sound of my voice and didn't mind my observing them (we kept a healthy distance). All summer we watched the babies get bigger, then very rarely saw them when the weather turned cold.

I think we lost one of them; it had a bit of a limp and was always lagging behind the others on their nightly forages.

I became quite attached to those babies! The whole family knew the sound of my voice. The mother and one (bigger) baby stayed in our garage a few times when it was really cold but I hadn't seen the other two since last year.

Well! Last night I couldn't sleep so I sat out back for hours listening to the night sounds. Who should arrive but two yearlings! I am convinced they are the babies from last year. They walked along the fence back and forth a few times, snuffling and exploring. One climbed down into our yard by the maple and walked across the lawn toward where I was sitting. When he realized I was there he backed off a bit but continued exploring. Yay!

The maple is finally starting to leaf out so I'm sure they'll reclaim their tree pretty soon. We should also see alot more of them when the fruits come out. I wonder if we'll have another litter this year?

I already posted a pic of the baby in my garage under the

"What wildlife is enjoying your garden?" thread. I'm sure we'll have some new shots this year now!

Here's a shot of their maple tree and my patio where I like to sit to watch them...

I'm so happy!!!! Now, if I can only figure out how to take pictures at night!

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patrick_nh(z4/5 NH)

Read this, and then rethink if it's so wonderful to have them living in your garage and so close to your house.

Do you ever eat on that table that's under the tree?

Here is a link that might be useful: Baylisascaris infection

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 8:31AM
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selkie

Yuck. Way to be a downer, Patrick. Vonyon was also kind enough to make the same point regarding raccon roundworm. Thanks for the response and the link, though, I do appreciate it.

Considering there have been only 11 cases of humans contracting raccoon roundworm in the U.S., I'm not going to worry too much about this. There is a raccoon latrine on our property, behind the shed in a hard to access area (humans don't go there). I found no scat in the garage when I did my annual cleanup. We usually wash the table or put down a cloth before eating. We all wash our hands before eating and after gardening. And our kids are old enough to know not to put potential raccoon poop in their mouths.

I'm a firm believer in providing backyard wildlife habitats for those creatures whose natural habitats are rapidly diminishing in the wild. Life is full of risks. Given the circumstances, our chance of being run over by some drunken teenager on the street is probably higher than ingesting raccoon roundworm. Actually, we probably have a higher chance of picking up something from our outdoor cats (a topic that has evidently worn itself out already on these forums). And I'm still really really happy to see them! :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 3:36PM
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vonyon

I think people just want you to be aware of the risks. Forewarned is forearmed. I had heard of kids getting it from soil not from scat. But, if you are comfortable with the risks then there is no need to be defensive. People are free to disagree here. Not everyone likes the same things or wants to take the same risks. That is why there are different breakfast cereals. Enjoy them!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 9:41PM
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selkie

I totally agree, Vonyon. That's why I thanked you and Patrick for your responses and concerns. This type of communication does not convey emotion very well, which is probably why you mistook my response for defensiveness. I was merely responding with the data to the implication that raccoons are dangerous to have around. Facts are a good thing. :)

I'm actually surprised there aren't more raccoon lovers on this forum.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 11:12AM
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marilyn_c(z9 Tex.coast)

Well, I'm a raccoon lover. I don't read this forum very often because some of the things written by "nature lovers" are such a downer to me. To many people, nature exists just as butterflies and hummingbirds.

This is Audrey, a raccoon I raised 5 years ago. She raises a litter of babies every year in a hollow tree in my yard. She comes to the back door every night for a little treat of yogurt.

I live on 50 acres on a bayou on the Texas Gulf coast. I am a wildlife rehabber. I am 60 years old and I would put my
good health up against anyone half my age.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 12:05PM
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selkie

Awwww, so sweet! Thanks for posting Marilyn. I'm so happy to see I'm not the only one.

Yogurt, eh? Didn't think of that. There are enough berries in my yard to feed the whole family in the summer, but I sometimes give them a bit of catfood in the winter.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 12:16PM
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marilyn_c(z9 Tex.coast)

I put out 50 lb of food here every night. It is furnished by the rehabbers association and donated by Walmart and other grocery stores. I feed 5 to 6 quarts of yogurt every night to the possums that I rehab. I have almost 80 possums now and 2 baby armadillos. The armadillos like yogurt too. I will take a pic of them, but need to charge the batteries in my camera.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 12:59PM
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anitamo(5)

What do you do, if anything, about the latrines? I just noticed an area full of raccoon feces near my hosta bed. Never saw anything there before, but have in other out of the way areas. I'll clean it up, but will they keep coming back to the same area? Now, after reading about the roundworm, it's making me nervous having any of it in my gardens. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 9:15PM
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vonyon

Those roundworms are nasty even if they aren't common. I think they can get into the eyes or the brain tissue. If you are going to clean it up, it seems like you should wear gloves to do so. Have you tried googling it?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 10:04PM
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anitamo(5)

Yes, I did google it, and found some good info. about cleaning it up safely. I'm going to use ammonia to repel them, also. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 12:45AM
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vonyon

Anita, Can you post that link maybe under a separate thread? This is good info for everyone--at least I think so.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 9:22AM
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aleksandras(7 NC)

Maybe you can give them a wormer? Once I saw a dead opossum, worms started to come out of him - it was terrible, I never thought that opossum can have so many worms inside it. He didn't look sick, he died on the road, so I think that even if an animal looks really healthy, he still might be heavily infected with worms. After that, I gave worm medicine to any opossum that I rescued (just few of them, I don't really do it as much as Marilyn does). I used worm medicine that has Pyrantel as main ingredient - this is a very safe one, you can give it to people, kids, dogs, cats, birds and most of other animals.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 1:23PM
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florey

Loved the pictures.
Are there fewer raccoons than there used to be?
Did anyone else read Sterling North's book 'Rascal' when they were young? Wild life books were once very popular, Farley Mowat may ring a bell.

Raccoons used to be plentiful, when I was a kid.
I saw one driving home, er, as I drove home, one night a few years back, and tried to get the neighbor kids to guess what it was.
What animal:
washes his handlike paws, and his food
weighs about 30 pounds
climbs trees
can open latches
wears a mask.....?
might live in sewers?
...................not one, eight or ten year old, had any idea.
Their tails were used on Davey Crockett's style of cap.
That! finally brought one response.

There seems to be a wideniing detachment from wildlife as it disappears. How do we interest our kids? They are inside, not learning outdoor rythms and norms just by hanging out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rascal by Sterling North

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 8:55PM
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anitamo(5)

Sure, vonyon, here it is...http://www.sbcphd.org/documents/alerts/clean_raccoon_latrine.pdf

Here is a link that might be useful: latrine cleanup

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 10:32AM
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