Raccoons Invade Brooklyn
A truck pulled up at a small house with a brick porch and a garden on a recent afternoon, and a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt climbed out. A woman led him to the backyard. When they emerged a few Canada Goose Jackets minutes later, he was carrying a wire mesh cage.
The woman canada goose coats on sale handed the man a check, and he put the cage into his truck. Canada Goose Outlet As he drove away, he murmured comforting words in the direction canada goose clearance of his cargo. On this day it was a male raccoon, lured into a trap with a handful of Canada Goose Online cat kibble.
The woman, Wendy Hooker, a retired designer of canada goose uk black friday window displays, had first called the trapper in August after seeing a dozen raccoons “wilding” in her yard, as she put it. canada goose store This one, caught in December, was among the last buy canada goose jacket cheap of the bunch.
“They were trashing my grapevine, beating my cat,” Ms. Hooker said. “It was like a frat party. They were insane.”
Though New York may be better known for its rat population, the city abounds in raccoons. Their precise numbers are not known, but their encounters with people have increased: The city’s 311 help line received 1,581 inquiries about raccoon control in 2015 as of mid December, up from 936 in all of 2014, according to official data.
Raccoons are “truly incredible in their adaptability,” one expert said. That helps explain why they are canada goose proliferating throughout the city, especially in Brooklyn.
And Canada Goose Coats On Sale trappers like the one hired by Ms. Hooker say they are getting more and more requests to remove the animals, in all five boroughs, but particularly in Brooklyn.
Here is the tricky part: City law dictates that any canadian goose jacket captured raccoon must be killed in a humane fashion, because raccoons are known to carry rabies. But many trappers, as well as homeowners who do the job themselves, say they transport raccoons to parks or wilderness areas and set them free instead, because they don’t have the heart to do what is legally required.
Indeed, many of Canada Goose online the trappers who were interviewed expressed misgivings about exterminating healthy raccoons displaying an empathy they did not feel for, uk canada goose say, roaches or bedbugs.
“It used to be a little different,” said the man who took the raccoon from Ms. Hooker’s yard, and who asked to be identified only as Don because he releases raccoons rather than killing them. “I am in this for three generations. I go back to the time of the drowning barrel. Guys who trapped animals used to have a 55 gallon drum, and you’d just upend the cage and dump it into the barrel.”
“Now,” he continued, “everybody is just releasing them. They’re letting them go in any quiet place.”
The problem, experts say, is that from there, the animals tend to wander into the nearest neighborhood. People see wooded areas as the animals’ natural habitat, where they belong. But these are city raccoons that tend to make a U turn for civilization when dropped off in canada goose uk shop nature, said Stanley D. Gehrt, Canada Goose online a wildlife ecologist at Ohio State University who has studied urban raccoons for two decades. “When you take them and drop them off in a natural environment, they’re going to look for buildings,” he said. “It’s what they’re used to.”
Encounters between raccoons and people have increased. According to official data, New York’s 311 help line received 1,581 inquiries about raccoon control in 2015 as of mid December.
And so, it appears, the spread of raccoons is being aided by the very people employed to combat it.
A special license from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is required to remove “nuisance wildlife” such as raccoons. Officials at the department, which has licensed around 100 trappers in the city, said local health departments have jurisdiction Canada Goose sale over raccoons and other rabies carrying species. A spokesman for the city’s health department said trappers were not permitted to release raccoons caught on a homeowner’s property elsewhere, “and if they are doing it, they’re doing it illegally.”
Sean Casey, who runs an animal rescue organization in Brooklyn, said he received calls about raccoons “almost daily.” He said he turned away the callers seeking removal because of the city’s laws on raccoons and his group’s no kill policy, and responded only in emergencies, like a recent episode involving a hefty raccoon stuck in a roof gutter. But Mr. Casey said buy canada goose jacket he could understand the tendency on the part of some trappers to relocate the animals.
“You’re trying to find some balance between laws and emotion,” he said. “No one wants to put an animal to sleep, especially not a healthy animal who is just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Some trappers say they abide by the law. Chaim Silver, a trapper from Brooklyn, said he had killed raccoons using a carbon dioxide chamber “because all rabies vector species have to be euthanized.” canada goose factory sale He acknowledged that many of his peers released raccoons, but said the real problem was the absence of any management of the issue. “There’s no real control,” he said. “Only trappers. And if canada goose uk outlet trappers don’t kill them, they’ll just reproduce.”
Raccoons are often thought of as forest dwelling creatures, but they can reach a very high density cheap canada goose uk in cities, said Samuel I. Raccoons are omnivorous and opportunistic, easily switching from eating grubs or bird eggs to devouring human and pet food, and from living in tree hollows to inhabiting attics and chimneys. This flexibility, combined with a relative lack of predators, can lead to rapid population growth.
Chris Nagy, a wildlife biologist and a founder of the Gotham Coyote Project, which has uk canada goose outlet set up night vision cameras around the city to study coyotes and other urban wildlife, said of raccoons that “they’re basically everywhere; they’re in every park we’ve looked at.”
New Yorkers love the animals’ antics. In Central Park last year, a “pizza raccoon” was seen tucking into a slice in the branches of a tree. In Brooklyn, an apparently drunk raccoon staggered through a beer distributor’s warehouse. https://www.canadagooseparkasoutlet.ca Images of others have appeared on social media, climbing canada goose clearance sale building facades, fire escapes and even tightrope walking along electrical cables.
But what experts canada goose black friday sale call raccoons’ canada goose coats “synanthropic trend” their capacity to thrive among humans can also feel invasive. Female raccoons looking for a den to deliver their kits, as the offspring are called, can squeeze through vents and chimneys, tear through screens and lift up shingles with their dexterous forepaws.
For a few years, William and Malya Levin could hear the loud movements of a raccoon cheap Canada Goose above their Park Slope apartment. Canada Goose Parka “It sounded like a large dog,” Mr. Levin said. Then they endured the stench of what they believed was a kit that had fallen into a cavity in a wall and died. Later, the Levins knocked a hole in their kitchen wall to extract another kit. (They called the exterminator Nice Jewish Boys Who Kill Bugs, which removed the raccoon and said it had been taken to a rehabilitator outside the city.).