Ah, the trials and tribulations of living in the hills on the west side of Portland. A reader sends along an e-mail thread that shows they've got some problems in the Willamette Heights neighborhood. Roving bands of brazen thugs! But don't worry -- not the human type:
As we returned from a walk this afternoon, one of the exterior restorers of the pink house on the corner of Thurman and 31st stopped us. He had just heard what he thought to be a dog fight, but it turned out to be an attack on a dog and a woman by a raccoon at the north upper end of the Thurman St. Bridge. The raccoon had emerged from the laurels at the edge of the canyon and bit both of them.
Last night at 10:30 T***** spotted a coyote coming up 32nd to Thurman.
We inhabit the edge of the Forest. Beware!
A week ago Saturday at 4 pm I had the french doors open between the kitchen and the patio. Less than five minutes later, I turned around and there was a large raccoon sitting *in our kitchen*. I did the movie version of a good loud scream and he did not budge. I jumped up and down and pretended to run toward him. He just looked at me. I grabbed two metal lids and banged them together (I was running out of options) and he finally fled down the back stairs. Five minutes later he was back on the patio staring at our twelve year old cat. I did the lid act again. It worked.
This is not normal behavior for a raccoon.
Well, it may be normal for the raccoons in our neighborhood. We have had raccoon families living under our deck in the past,and it seems one of the young males does not adhere to the "raccoons are noctural" norm. He is out just about any time of day hanging around looking for food etc. And while he (or she) is very bold I can usually just clap my hands loudly and he runs away -- although it takes 3-4 time before he moves on.
I have called animal control in the past -- they no longer trap raccoons and release them as the people in the release areas started complaining. So if you want to be rid of them you need to call an exterminator, meaning they will be killed -- and while they are a nuisance I am not willing to have them killed as they really do no harm. We have two cats and they come face to face but the raccoons never go after them -- it seems they just want to eat.
Over all they are bold but relatively harmless from my perspective -- but if anyone has a bigger issue I would be happy to discuss trapping alternatives.
I'm not sure raccoons around here are so harmless. I took a baby raccoon who had been abandoned by its mom over to the Audubon Center and they told me they would euthanize it simply because many area raccoons have rabies. They said they refused to take chances.
Which could explain the biting attack on the woman and the dog off the Thurman bridge.
I recently saw a raccoon the size of a border collie on my neighbors' deck and could not scare it away.