About five years ago some young raccoons tried to get into our house, every morning at 2am, for about two weeks. They would squeeze between our bedroom window and the security bars and scratch on the glass, waking us up (although by the second week, I wasn’t really sleeping). They would make a ton of noise, and nothing bothered them. We shined flashlights right in their eyes, they didn’t care. We pounded on the the window right in front of their faces, they were unfazed.
We didn’t have use of our backyard then (it was still a trash-strewn jungle), but our next door neighbors couldn’t use theirs, because the raccoons had taken to hanging out there. And that whole nocturnal thing? Nope. I saw the entire family crossing the street in front of our house one day at noon.
Our neighbor finally put a trap on the roof, and once he took one of the raccoons away, the rest disappeared. I’d heard stories of sightings nearby in the years since, but our immediate area was blissfully raccoon free.
I was putting the kids to bed, and we all heard the most terrifying sound – at first we couldn’t even tell if it was human or an animal. I can’t even describe to you what this sounded like, but it was absolutely horrific. It was just pure pain distilled into a noise.
Whatever it was, it was trapped or hurt or something bad. Hanging out of a back window I couldn’t see anything, but finally I was able to pinpoint among the echoing buildings exactly where it was coming from. I grabbed my coat and ran outside.
Some people up in a third floor window saw me searching with a flashlight and pointed out to me what was going on: several raccoons had viciously attacked another raccoon, up in a tree. The wounded raccoon was still in the tree whimpering.
The crazy thing? The women up in the window had called 311, and were told that unless the raccoons attacked a person, there’ was nothing they could do.
This is not something I thought I’d have to deal with in Brooklyn. Isn’t this the kind of thing people in the suburbs complain about? What’s next, am I going to find a deer nibbling around my vegetable garden?
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