Raccoons in New York City

When you think of inner cities infestations, your thoughts probably turn to rats, or feral cats and dogs. Even pigeons are a common nuisance animal in urban areas. However, New York City is having a different sort of problem. The Raccoon population in NYC has gone wild. .The rig tailed rascals are everywhere. The cities 311 hotline reported it has answered more than 1500 calls this year alone, and that is a rise of almost 70 percent from previous years. Raccoons have been spotted hanging around in some odd places too. Can you imagine seeing a raccoon outside the Federal Reserve Bank, or trotting up Wall Street to hang out at the stock exchange? How about a raccoon chillin’ on the deck of the USS intrepid! They have been captured all these places and a few other unusual spots. Urban raccoons are brave and aggressive. Wild animal experts tell us that this new breed of raccoon has ventured out of its wooded environs to become a city raccoon and has learned to adapt to the concrete jungle.

The city savvy raccoons love the nightlife. However, they still prefer moving under the cover of darkness. City life, gives them plenty of new places enjoy horsing around. They have been spotted swimming in pools, playing on playground equipment, and chasing pets off their food. They have interrupted pigeon feeding and been caught fishing in park ponds. However, don’t think they have forgotten their roots. They still rummage through garbage, ransack gardens, and make a general nuisance of themselves. Besides all the calls to the city hot lines, pest and animal control services are fielding dozens of calls per day from all over the city. They have removed the masked menaces from parking garages in Harlem, parks in Manhattan, and walking down upscale Columbia Avenue. Nowhere is safe from their inquisitive nature and insatiable appetites. The last estimate made by animal services was an approximate 100 raccoons per square mile and growing.

With a lack of natural predators like hawks, owls, big cats, etc the raccoon is free to roam around and breed, as it likes. There are plenty of buildings, basement, and junked cars to provide housing for them all. Couple that with the abundant food and water available to the raccoons on a daily basis, and the raccoons must think they have found Shangri-La. This outbreak has prompted New York to issue 100 licenses for the trapping of raccoons within the city. In New York, homeowners are responsible for the removal of nuisance wildlife. The city only answers wildlife calls in if the animal is hurt or injured. On a positive note, the number of cases of rabies in raccoons has declined by more than half since 2014.

Read the How to get rid of raccoons page for helpful information and to learn more about Raccoons in New York City

Raccoons in New York City

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