Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oh, no, Rocky! Not you, too!

Picture from news article. Source unknown.

Yes, it appears that the lovable Rocky Raccoon and relatives have joined the ranks of the Mad As Hells who aren't going to take it anymore. This was discovered up close and personal by a poor woman in Florida who had the misfortune of being mugged and seriously injured by a gang of them. As far as I know this is the first report of a group of raccoons attacking a person.

So now raccoons have joined the fray, along with coyotes who snatch cats and small dogs virtually from the arms of their owners, cougars who pounce on unsuspecting joggers, and bears who suddenly turn grumpy and homicidal. Makes you wonder what is going on, doesn't it?

Well, for one thing when you teach wild critters not to fear and respect you you have a problem. Humans and coyotes are not really meant to live in close proximity. Their politics differ so radically that it's really not a good arrangement for either of them. But as more and more people insist on expanding their habitations into environments which toothy citizens have had to themselves forever, there is bound to be some inter-species unpleasantness.

I'm reminded of folks who build a house in the woods and then call the state game commission to come and remove the bears that insist on wandering into their newly seeded yard and making off with their frisbees. Sensible game commissions tell the new arrivals to "deal with it" because the bears were there first. (There's also the story of the suburban woman who called the game commission and asked them to move the deer crossing sign near her house because too many deer were being killed by automobiles there.)

Most Americans don't know beans about wild things. Thus their sense of horrified betrayal when Rocky grows testy and clamps down on their ankle. That is no way for a lovable cartoon character to act! Nor is it pleasant to contemplate that bunny rabbits have fleas, cute little deer mice can carry bubonic plague, and that adorable little skunklet is a prime carrier of rabies.

Education might help. Fewer people would help even more. Neither are likely to happen. We'll probably be hearing from Rocky again.


Anonymous said...

I guess this is a welcome to the real world. Wild animals are dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Strangely enough, this story came out just as my mom emailed me from her retirement community in Sacramento and was complaining about the raccoons digging holes in her lawn looking for "grubs." I emailed her the article and told her to leave the raccoons along.