Behind the Mask: Raccoon Videos, Community Comment and More
July 28, 2011
I feel like everyone in Monterey County has at least one raccoon story, which is partly what inspired this week's cover story, Cute or Evil: A Quest for Raccoon Truth.
I just didn't expect them to include a friend and colleague's tale of adopting an orphaned baby, bottle feeding it, taking it around on a leash and having it ride along on her boyfriend's motorcycle.
But that's fitting. Raccoons are a surprising lot themselves.
Some of the thoughts that emerged in the process were also surprising, and often damn entertaining.
Here's a look at some of them, video Salinas' Critter Getter captured using a motion sensor camera to help diagnose what to do with the elusively nocturnal animals and a few raccoon YouTubes that include kits in a hammock.
"I would rather go to a report of a parolee in a house than a raccoon." —Carmel Police Officer Chris Johnson, as told to the Carmel Pine Cone
"I hate racoons. They ate my baby chicks like grapes just to be mean and tore the heads off chickens just for fun, leaving the rest. Horrible, stinky, covered with parasites, disease ridden snarling, fanged monstrosities. Up close. Far away they're cute." —Luana Conley, Marina, via Facebook
“I tell everyone I have a lot of angels around me. I’m a breast-cancer survivor, and my gosh, if I can survive cancer, I can survive raccoons.” —Carmel's Suzanne Martin to local reporter Mary Schley, on how she repelled raccoons who attacked her two shih tzus
"It's not you leave them alone, they leave you alone. They come after what they want: your food, your dog food, your blood. (Laughs.) They’re the ones overstepping their bounds. They talk about how we build homes into natural habitat. They’re the ones encroaching." —Carmel's A DeVee, Carmel raccoon attack victim
"My crazy raccoon story is not pretty. It happened when I was in college at UC Santa Cruz. I was living at the dorms at Merrill College which is located up on a hill surrounded by beautiful redwood trees. One late night I was peacefully walking back from the library and was headed toward my dorm. I was the only person in sight when all of sudden I heard something chasing me. It was pitch dark. I could not really make out what it was. I thought it was a black cat or a skunk. Much to my surprise it was a furry fat raccoon running wobbly down my direction, slapping its pads on the cement, getting closer and closer. 'Aaaaahhhhhh!' I screamed loudly and ran as fast as my skinny legs could run. I couldn’t run too fast because my backpack was full of heavy textbooks. My scream was so loud that the lights from every single dorm came on rhythmically. Luckily the night proctor heard me and ran to my rescue. He asked, 'What’s wrong?' I hastily responded, 'a raccoon!' He started laughing and said, 'Oh don’t be afraid, just jingle your keys and they’ll run away.' The proctor took out his ring of keys and shook them like crazy and the raccoon ran off. Whew! I couldn’t believe a raccoon freaked me out. Now I know what to do." —Santiago Lopez, Salinas
"In the waiting room of Ocean View Vet in PG I spoke with a lady bringing in her 13-year-old cattle dog who had been mauled by a raccoon. When it was my cat's turn to see the vet I commented on what I had seen. He responded, 'That is an everyday occurrence here.' By chance I was again in the waiting room when she came back to pick up her cleaned up dog and heard the check out clerk say to her, 'Your bill is $700.'" —Sarah McCandliss, via Facebook