Baby Bandits

Baby Raccoons - Steven Kennard 2014
Baby Raccoons – Steven Kennard 2014

As you can see, there were developments following my last posting of the uninvited guest in our cupola ( ).

What we didn’t know, was that she had a bunch of kids with her. If you read Ellie Kennard’s posting with her photo here  you can read the story up to the point where we had screwed a board across the opening and then gone out for the evening.

And then…

When we got back, pandemonium had broken out! There were screams from inside the cupola (they make a lot of noise for such cute little things) and frantic noises from the mother as she ripped and tore at the slats and board trying to get at her babies. (They must have been hiding within the rafters when we looked into the hole, so that we didn’t see any signs of them.)

At 10:30 pm, therefore, in the dark, I was faced with the prospect of getting up on the roof with a frantic, protective big mother raccoon to try to unscrew the plank we had put over the hole. I didn’t fancy that much, but the thought of letting those babies starve to death while the mother tore all the shingles off our roof appealed less. What I did, in the end, as you can see, was to climb to the top of the ladder and use a long stick to force the two bottom slats off. This allowed the mother to get in (they flatten themselves to the size of a rug) and reassure the kits. She tried to get them to leave with her, but they wouldn’t go. This photo was taken 11:13 pm, in the pitch dark, with a work light illuminating the faces of these little masked bandits.

Ellie is convinced that the mother knew that we were trying to help and did not represent a threat, which was why she did not attack me.

And Finally

For those who want to know how we finally managed to get our guests to vacate, the secret was simpler than we could have guessed. They apparently hate rock music. So we put a radio in the bedroom under the cupola, turned our local rock station on full blast and left it on. Within 1 hour she was moving them out. With a lot of complaining and fussing the babies eventually must have followed her over the roof and down the crab apple tree to seek a quieter neighbourhood.  They are wild animals. They will be happier in the wild as we will be happier with them in it. (They look soft and fluffy, by the way, but their fur is actually very coarse and stiff even as babies.)

30 Responses

  1. Raccoons are clever little buggers! Glad you were easily able to get them out and encourage then to find a new home. Although they are adorable looking.

    Until they get into your garbage cans. :-

  2. Awwwwwww. I had one as a (wild) pet as a child. It was always wild, but took up residence in a neighbor's open garage. He took a liking to me and would climb my arm. He stayed for a while and then one day he just moved on. Wonderful creatures. I am probably lucky I wasn't bittten, but being young and in a semi rural area, I did a lot of roaming of swamps and railroad tracks. I remember my dad got real excited when I told him what I found and rushed over to check it out. I thought he was really excited to see a racoon. Now, I realize that he was very concerned and was checking to see how tame it was. 😀

  3. They may have been an absolute pest and caused you not end of trouble, but they really are so cute!!! I am glad they are all safe and I don't think they will be back to visit. You don't have the right taste in music.

  4.  When I lived in the Riverdale section of northwest Bronx, New York, we were in a little enclave where we had a private entrance and patio that looked out on a wooded area. There were raccoons living out there that would wander in and sit on our patio every once in a while. One day one got close enough to nip my wife in the heel. Not sure if this was a dangerous thing, we managed to capture him in one of those wire frame milk carrying containers, turning it upside down on him, and called the police, who showed up and in turn called animal control. We had a grand evening out there chatting with the police, offered them a beer (they refused) with the raccoon under the box, and when they said it would be another three or four hours before animal control could get there (it was already getting to be about 10:00 p.m., one of them mentioned, oh by the way, there hadn't been a case of rabies in New York City since the 1920s or 30s. (This was about 1975.) My wife and I looked at each other, nodded, lifted the box, and the raccoon scurried off into the woods again, probably feeling chastened and resolving not to come visiting again any time soon. The police canceled the call to animal control, we thanked them for an amusing evening, and they left.

  5. +Steven Kennard hahaha…I was thinking the same! I've had some run-ins with raccoons a few days ago (I'm staying in the northern states for awhile.) I'm also an animal lover, so knowing about the rock music is a good discovery for me. I want to laugh as I type out that it seems more humane :0

  6. Fascinating story, Lorie, I can imagine your Dad was concerned. They could be nasty, I suspect, depending on their state of mind. +Lorie Wren 

    +Robt. J. Moore II – 😀 So it does have its uses, then! (I do like some rock music, in fact I love music, but the stuff they play on that station barely qualifies.)

    Thanks a lot +Matthew Hall glad you like the pics and story. They were harmless.

  7. Cute story. I'll have to remember about the rock music.  So far we haven't seen any Racoons around our new (more rural) place in the foothills. But I'm sure there are some out there somewhere!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.