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View Diary: The Daily Bucket - Redbud Action (46 comments)

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  •  A survivor raccoon came to the LR glass door (14+ / 0-)

    last night and made funny faces at me until I recognized him as one I had named Roscoe, a male with missing ear tips and only part of a tail with fur grown out to cover the injury. He has been here three years now, and when he first got hurt (I think he lost a battle with a dog) he was limping and could hardly walk, part of his tail gone, chunks gone here and there, and I thought he'd be dead in days. Instead, he nursed himself back to health and comes by every so often to see if he can get anything to eat from me. I gave him some peanuts this time, just in honor of his survival. I wish I had a pic of the crazy looks he gives me when begging. What a personality!
    In the mid40s here in Eureka today, and cloudy. Feels like we could get some rain.

    I don't have a redbud anymore, but I would welcome pics when they pop, EL. Thanks for the diary.

    W. H. Auden: "We must love one another or die."

    by martyc35 on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:47:42 AM PDT

    •  Amazingly resilient creature. (11+ / 0-)

      I had a raccoon sharing my neighborhood for many years whose front right leg had been damaged so she didn't use it at all, it just hung there. But she raised quite a few litters of babies, and taught them how to get into my house (for kitty kibble) in spite of all the barriers I installed, which required scaling a wall to get to a second story deck. They ate the strawberries, plums and pears and created a real commotion outside at night. She could run as fast as any raccoon, and would stare me down as aggressively as any. What a troublesome creature. But one year she didn't appear with her new family, haven't seen her since, and I admit I kind of miss her.

      •  rabies got a pair near my house once, (11+ / 0-)

        a shame to see one of them on its last legs, wasted away and wobbling toward death. It was just beautiful in its prime a few months before. I'm guessing it was rabies.

        "As long as Unicorns roam the earth, evil can never harm the pure of heart."

        by PHScott on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:30:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  About 15 years ago we had an almost complete (10+ / 0-)

          die off of raccoons on the island which was attributed to feline distemper. Has the same weakness and wasting effect as you describe, that may be what you saw.

          There are quite a few feral cats around (in fact my two cats were caught, vaccinated and sort of tamed as kittens at 3 months, though they still act partly wild)...could easily have been transmitted and spread. For about 5 years I didn't see any raccoons. Then they appeared again and their numbers are back up to what they were before. It's possible some may have swum here from another island but more likely there was a small pool of them who didn't die off.

          •  I would guess distemper as being more likely (7+ / 0-)

            than rabies. We had a red fox on our back deck in Santa Rosa once, and the poor thing was very ill. I thought distemper that time, too. Animal Control found him and put him out of his misery. I saw the PBS documentary on raccoons; rabies is less prevalent than most people think. They do carry a bad parasite that human beings can contract, but it is spread by touching or inhaling a fungus in their scat. The raccoons are pretty fussy about their food and their poop; they often wash their food before eating it, and they never poop where they eat. They will establish neighborhood latrines, all going to the same spot, but as long as the humans don't mess with that, the likelihood of getting the parasite is pretty slim. Still, a good idea to wash thoroughly after being out in the yard digging around. Roscoe didn't come begging again tonight. One of the reasons I fall for his antics is that he's not at all pushy. This guy was a regular at the doors right after I first moved here:

            W. H. Auden: "We must love one another or die."

            by martyc35 on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:54:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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