Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Our Pesky Raccoon Is Relocated

We had an exciting day.  Not very exciting for most people, but it was for us.  It all started a couple months ago.  We had a single raccoon visiting regularly.  We are used to raccoons.  We see them often on the trail camera, but they always keep their distance and never come too close to the house.  This one was very brave.  He would often eat under the birdfeeders, then pretty soon all the birdseed in the feeders disappeared.  Then one morning all the jelly we put out for the Baltimore Orioles was completely gone.  I pointed the trail camera in the direction of the feeders and soon learned the raccoon was moving closer and closer to our house.

This raccoon was checking out the feeders while we were still up.

He started coming even before dusk.

He started knocking the jelly feeder we have hanging on the window to the ground.  He would take the bird feeder we had hanging on the porch completely off the hook.  We did grease the poles with petroleum jelly which helped.  He stopped climbing the poles.  He would either slide back down the pole or raccoons don't like greasy feet, but it didn't help the hanging feeders.  Every night we had to take in the hanging feeders and plants.  He would even turn the bird bath upside down.  Yesterday, after noticing he ripped our screen, we decided this had gone on long enough.  We took a trip to the Tractor Supply store to buy a live trap.

On the way, we saw an interesting sight.  My husband said "look at the two turkey vultures eating the road kill.  I hope they move".  As we got closer, I saw they were not turkey vultures but two eagles eating at the side of the road.  They flew before I could get a good picture, but they were definitely eagles.

They flew as we approached.

When we got back home, we unpacked the trap.  We have cats in the area, and we were afraid of trapping them.  A friend told us that raccoons like sweets and cats don't.  He said we should put marshmallows in the trap, and then we wouldn't have to worry about the cats.  About 7:00 pm my husband set up the trap right next to the bird bath.  Right on schedule the raccoon came.  He stuck his paw in the trap and pulled it out quickly.  It was like he knew how to trip it without getting caught.  Then he went to the side of the trap and stuck his paw in between the metal grate.  Gradually he worked the marshmallows through the grate and ate them.  The little rascal.  My husband found a plastic container.  Even though it was almost dark, he put four marshmallows into the container and placed it in the trap.  He reset it and came inside.  We don't know exactly when it happened but before I went to bed, I looked out the window with a flashlight.  There he was, we caught him.  Since it was too late, we had to deal with him in the morning. 

The poor thing looked so sad.  His reign of terror had come to an end.  A lot of people hate the raccoons and the destruction they cause.  Many of those people destroy the animal, but I don't have the heart to do that.  We decided to relocate it to the wide open spaces far away from here.

My husband loaded him onto a cart and took him to the vehicle.

My dad wished him well and said goodbye.

He said goodbye back.

We traveled to a lovely new home, and the crate was opened.

Off he went to FREEDOM!

Tonight we will see if this raccoon was our only culprit or if he had partners in crime.  If need be, we will relocate more.  For now we will hope any others can live in harmony with us as it has been for many years.

The trap we bought came with a smaller bonus trap for small animals.  All I can say is chipmunk watch out, we are coming for you and all of your friends.  You may be cute, but you can't be digging up my potted plants and making holes all over the yard.