Day 237 – Cute? Check. Furry? Check. Rabid? Possibly.   2 comments

Raccoons in Stanley Park

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been posting pictures of birds in Stanley Park in Vancouver. I wasn’t surprised to see all the birds in the park, but I wasn’t expecting to come across raccoons. I didn’t just see one or two, I saw at least a dozen, all travelling in little packs of two or three. They were clearly scavenging for food in the park. Judging by the squeals of delight from passing tourists when they saw the raccoons, I suspect it wasn’t too hard for the raccoons to beg for food.

When I was there, many people went right up to the raccoons to take pictures with their phones – not seemly aware that these are wild animals. Ontario is pretty clear about warning people to stay away from raccoons because they carry rabies. BC, on the other hand, says their raccoons are free of rabies. They happily report there are no  recorded cases of raccoons found with rabies (except in 2004 when 4 raccoons in Stanley Park were found infected with bat rabies, but that doesn’t count ’cause it was a bats fault).

Wikipedia reports that a raccoons diet consists of 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods, and 27% vertebrates. The ones that used to hang out in my back yard when I lived in Vancouver seemed to have a diet that mostly consisted of my garbage – preferably spread all around my yard.

 

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2 responses to “Day 237 – Cute? Check. Furry? Check. Rabid? Possibly.

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  1. I´ve had a rabid dog attack my car once some years ago ( i was inside the car and the door was locked, was´nt foaming at the mouth or anything, just wild eyed and angry, well i guess it was rabid), very rare. These racoons look pretty healthy to me.
    You´ve got some great clarity with these shots Mike, are you hiding in the bushes with a tripod, or is it handheld in a hide. Great wildlife and ,great tryptych!

    • For a number of these shots I’m actually walking cautiously backwards as they walk right up to me or are just walking around ignoring me. No blind – just me standing in the wide open with a fairly long lens.

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