"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Raccoonteurs 

Our lovely state capital makes the news (emphasis supplied):
Psycho killer raccoons terrorize Olympia

A fierce group of raccoons has killed 10 cats, attacked a small dog and bitten at least one pet owner who had to get rabies shots, residents of Olympia say.

Some have taken to carrying pepper spray to ward off the masked marauders and the woman who was bitten now carries an iron pipe when she goes outside at night.

"It's a new breed," said Tamara Keeton, who with Kari Hall started a raccoon watch after an emotional neighborhood meeting drew 40 people. "They're urban raccoons, and they're not afraid...."

Lisann Rolle said she began carrying an iron pipe when she goes outside at night after being bitten by raccoons when she tried to pull three of them off her cat Lucy. She obtained rabies shots afterward as a precaution.

"I was watching her like a hawk, but she snuck out," Rolle said. "Then I heard this hideous sound — a coyote-type high pitch ... It was vicious. They were focused on ripping her apart."

The attacks have been especially shocking because raccoons came within five feet (1 1/2 meters) of cats without any problem in previous years, Benjamins said.

"We used to love the raccoons. They'd have their babies this time of year, and they were so cute. Even though we lived in the city, it was neat to have wildlife around," he said, "but this year, things changed. They went nuts...."

Meanwhile, residents have hired Tom Brown, a nuisance wildlife control operator from Rochester, Washington, to set traps, but in six weeks he has caught only one raccoon. He and Carrell said raccoons teach their young — and each other — to avoid traps.

Brown said he had seen packs of raccoons this big but none so into killing.

"They are in command up there," he said.

As a public service, here are some important raccoon facts to remember (from Wikipedia):
* Raccoons seeking food in wine cellars and storage areas have become a threat to Germany's wine industry.

* In French, the common raccoon is called raton laveur, or "little washing rat."

* Raccoons have caused about half of the documented animal rabies cases in the United States.

* Raccoon fat has a strong flavor and a foul smell, so it should be removed before cooking (roating is the suggested method). Sweet potatoes are the preferred accompaniment to raccoon, either as stuffing or a side dish.

Psycho killer raccoons!
"I've HAD it with these motherfuckin' raccoons in my motherfuckin' wine cellar!"

 

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