Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Raccoon

In addition to the opossums who eat the cat food on our back porch, we also have a raccoon who visits us at night. Last night, I finally managed to catch him; it took some doing. They say raccoons are smarter than dogs, and I'd believe it. I finally had to corner him in the garage and grab him with the snare. He wasn't happy about it. I walked him down to the park and let him go on the other side of the creek, and hopefully the experience was traumatic enough that he won't feel the need to come back anytime soon. In the rush to chase him down, though, I forgot my spray paint. I didn't get a chance to paint him pink for easy identification, as I've done with the last few opossums I've caught. I don't think the spray paint is actually harmful, but they're definitely not happy about it.

As a matter of technique, it's easier when you're walking an opossum or a raccoon on the end of a snare, if you let the critter go first. If you walk in front, you occasionally have to drag them; they don't like being led. If you let them go in front, you make good time because they run to get away from you. The raccoon led me down the stairs behind the community center in the park. The stairs were coated with ice; I fell directly on my ass and dropped the snare. I managed to catch up with the raccoon before he got too far, but I had to wonder about the experience. They say they're clever creatures. I wonder if he walked me over the ice on purpose....

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