Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Raccoons R Us

I was talking about this particular raccoon today at work.

Every time we go to Florida, Carole and I have encounters with raccoons. They are exceedingly common down there, and each park is loaded with them. Because they have become habituated to humans and our foods, they can often be persistent. But it was on a trip to Blue Springs State Park that we found out just how bold they can be.

This one was the boldest of the lot, I have to say.

She came right into the middle of our campsite and plunked herself right down.

When we arrived, she turned over our cooler while we were transferring stuff from the back of the truck into the travel trailer. Our backs were turned and before we could react she had the cooler on its side, had snagged a packet of fresh steaks, and was off into the brush.

Yeah, they look cute. But they have a mouthful of sharp teeth and they are one of the first animals to get rabies when that disease is running its course through an ecosystem.

The next evening Carole left the door to the trailer slightly ajar. We were sitting in bed watching television. We felt the air pressure change and turned to see this same raccoon peering at us from beside the refrigerator. Carole screamed. The raccoon retreated. But not before it took one of Carole's casual shoes that she had sitting beside the door. We never did find that shoe. My feeling has always been that she took that shoe out of spite because we chased her away.

The next day the raccoon returned and came out of the forest into our campsite as we were preparing lunch. She wanted her share, but we don't (intentionally) feed the wildlife. I tried to shoo her away, but she was having none of that. I had to position myself between the raccoon and Carole at the grill to keep the critter at bay. I had a broom in my hands and figured I might have to use it to swat this bear's little cousin. Finally, though, I was able to frighten her off--it was while she was patiently waiting, relaxing there on the ground in front of me that I reckoned that she was pregnant. Either that or she was just one extremely fat raccoon. I suspect the former.

I can wait, she said.

We went to the ranger station to warn them about this particular raccoon, so they brought a live trap and set it up next to the trailer. In the morning, before we left, it had nabbed a possum. We weren't staying over again, so we never found out if they got the raccoon. (And, no, they weren't going to hurt her, just move her to another part of the park.)

Yeah, fat man. I'm all concerned about you and your broom. Almost as concerned as I am over this damned flea.

2 comments:

Jack said...

That is one FAT Raccoon! I guess all those steaks fatten those guys up!

HemlockMan said...

I'm convinced it was a pregnant female.

She did eat all of our steaks, though.