Raccoons may be pesky, but they’re part of life

Unusual weather has led to an increased number of complaints about hungry raccoons, but city officials say we’re just going to need to adapt.

The animals are foraging for winter later than normal this year because of the unusually cool temperatures and some rainy weather during the summer months, according to Supervisor Carmen Chu’s office.

The office has been fielding calls about the creatures from constituents in the Sunset district who reported problems such as dogs injured in confrontations. Some people have tried to trap raccoons for pickup, which is not recommended by Animal Care and Control, said Cammy Blackstone, Chu’s spokeswoman.

“I’ve even had them in my own backyard,” she said. “It surprised me [that Animal Care and Control] didn’t come out and take care of it.”

Raccoons can be a nuisance, but the agency doesn’t euthanize healthy animals, according to Animal Care and Control Director Rebecca Katz. Instead, residents of The City need to learn to live with nature.

Residents need to get rid of anything that draws the pests to their homes in the first place, Katz said. Open garbage cans should be bungee-corded shut and fountains should be turned off and drained.

Raccoons are one of the few wild animals that have benefited and adapted to being around humans, according to the U.S. Humane Society.

“Raccoons aren’t averse to raiding gardens, garbage cans, bird feeders, fish ponds — even kitchen cabinets. Raccoons have been known to use door knobs, so cabinet doors are hardly a challenge.” the Humane Society wrote in a fact sheet about the animals.

Raccoons have even been known to enter through pet doors in The City, Katz said.

Also, raccoons can carry rabies, according to the humane society. If anyone is ever bitten, Katz said, Animal Care and Control will respond and test the animal.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

 


 


Bay Area NewsLocalNEPRaccoons

Just Posted

A large crack winds its way up a sidewalk along China Basin Street in Mission Bay on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s sinking sidewalks: Is climate change to blame?

‘In the last couple months, it’s been a noticeable change’

For years, Facebook employees have identified serious harms and proposed potential fixes. CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg have rejected the remedies, causing whisteblowers to multiple. (Eric Thayer/The New York Times)
Facebook’s problems at the top: Social media giant is not listening to whistleblowers

Whistleblowers multiply, but Zuckerberg and Sandberg don’t heed their warnings

Maria Jimenez swabs her 7-year-old daughter Glendy Perez for a COVID-19 test at Canal Alliance in San Rafael on Sept. 25. (Penni Gladstone/CalMatters)
Rapid COVID-19 tests in short supply in California

‘The U.S. gets a D- when it comes to testing’

Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo led a late-game comeback against the Packers, but San Francisco lost, 30-28, on a late field goal. (Courtesy of San Francisco 49ers)
The Packers beat the Niners in a heartbreaker: Don’t panic

San Francisco is no better and no worse than you thought they were.

A new ruling will thwart the growth of solar installation companies like Luminalt, which was founded in an Outer Sunset garage and is majority woman owned. (Philip Cheung, New York Times)
A threat to California’s solar future and diverse employment pathways

A new ruling creates barriers to entering the clean energy workforce

Most Read