Forgive these images being somewhat blurred. They were taken at dusk just as we were settling in for the evening.
Now I know who is eating the birdseed like there's no tomorrow, and who stole the suet feeder from the dogwood tree during the previous night after I'd filled it with nice fresh nutty seed cake.......for my woodpeckers!
This is no baby raccoon, just a huge fat, furry guy/gal who has found a supply of tasty food to its liking.
The raccoon was not at all concerned at our presence when we walked out onto the deck and talked to it.
"Bad raccoon eating our birdseed, you should be ashamed of yourself".
Then we decided to chase it away and it ran to the side of the potting shed, crouched down and proceeded to pop under the shed. Can that be where it's living? The same shed where we've had more than our share of feral kittens and fox kits deposited by wayward mamas over the past several years.
Speaking of foxes, just a half hour later one showed up. It proceeded to start munching on the load of birdseed the raccoon had spilt from the feeder. It was too dark to get a pic.
Hey, hope it doesn't decide to curl up on my vintage wicker with the Ralph Lauren cushions!
So my dilemma is, do we call animal control and ask them to set a humane trap in hopes they catch the raccoon and then remove it? These guys can cause havoc to property and plants, carry rabies and many other diseases, and are infested with fleas and ticks. Our neighbors have a young child, and a teeny chihuahua, who spend time outside. They are already nervous about the foxes on our adjoining properties. DH and I are nervous too, not feeling comfortable walking outside at night. I will not be filling the bird feeders for a while to discourage all this wildlife. NC Wildlife does not allow trapping foxes unless they become dangerous, and then one needs a permit, so we are stuck with them it seems.
All these animals are beautiful to see and I would never want to harm them, however they are not safe to have around the house. We may live in what I lovingly call 'the cottage' but we definitely don't live in the country. We are in a busy subdivision adjacent to a heavily traveled thoroughfare.......and just these past couple of years we seem to be attracting a lot of wildlife.