Saturday, August 15, 2009

Raccoons: Cute and dangerous

Leaving Bill Baggs Park on Key Biscayne, we came across this scene at one of the many barbecue/picnic sites. The lid was off the garbage can and this raccoon had hit pay dirt. It was only a few feet from us and not in the slightest bit inclined to leave its feast behind, despite our proximity. After a couple of minutes, it ambled back into the undergrowth.

Cute as it was, it's a sad state of affairs for several reasons: The ugly impact humans have on the environment, the loss of fear by wild animals, the danger raccoons pose to the human population. Raccoons are significant carriers of rabies, but unlike dogs and cats, they don't exhibit symptoms to alert us.


MrBrownThumb said...

I hear you about the mess created by humans. It seems like lately in my area the garbage cans are overflowing and I've spotted raccoons in my neighborhood for the first time ever.

One would think there would be less for them to dine on in the garbage cans around here because of the recession but it hasn't seemed to make people stop wasting food that raccoons are finding it hard to resist.

Penny said...

To be fair to humans, they may have put all the garbage in the can and the raccoon pulled the lid off, but given the location of the water bottles, prolly not. I think this one may have been chewing a chicken bone, which recession or no, would still end up in the garbage.

I'm surprised you've not seen raccoons before; maybe they've only been active at night until now. Still, you have rabbits ...

Anonymous said...


I probably haven't seen any until now because inner-city cats, dogs and rats are pretty tough. :0)

In my little corner of Chicago I did use to see a lot of wild rabbits when I was a kid, but not so much now.

Penny McCrea said...

Where is your corner of Chicago? (About my favorite American city, btw.) I think you have raccoons, but they are good at staying hidden. I've seen them in downtown Miami where there's no shortage of rats, cats, dogs.