Typically raccoons don’t pose that big of a problem for residents living in large communities. Many people will go their whole lives never seeing a raccoon on their property. And those who do will likely not ever have any cause to contact animal control units. Raccoons also make an effort to avoid human contact. So a bunch of raccoons could never band together and invade a big city, right? Well, this very thing seems to be happening in Philadelphia at the moment. Many residents of Philadelphia feel as though they are under siege by gangs of raccoons that are, in some cases, invading neighborhoods in large numbers.
Raccoons are becoming enough of a menace in Philadelphia for the city council to hold a hearing on how to rid the city of the recent raccoon infestation. Different incidents relating to the recent raccoon infestation will be discussed at the hearing. Unfortunately, there is no city agency in Philadelphia that can deal with a large-scale raccoon infestation. For example, you would think that the Health Departments Vector Control Program would help solve the raccoon problem, but they only deal with rats. I guess they never considered the possibility of raccoons becoming a serious threat to the public. There is also the Animal Care and Control Team, but they only respond to raccoon complaints when raccoons are invading people’s yards or living quarters, or if raccoons should appear sick.
The Department of Licenses and Inspections also will not deal with the raccoon problem in Philadelphia. This agency is required to seal vacant buildings, partly to keep animals out, but there responsibilities do not extend beyond the ground floor of buildings, and raccoons often invade higher floors. According to council member, Helen Gym, the raccoon infestation in Philadelphia will be handled, but interagency communication will have to improve first.
Have you ever heard of a large-scale raccoon infestation? If you have, where did it occur?