Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Attorney - Lawyer
     None  Auto
     None  Aviation
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Carpet Cleaning
     None  Chamber of Commerce
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Computer Services
     None  Dental Care
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Electric utility
     None  Equine Services
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Feed Stores
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Fireplace Sales/Service
     None  Flooring
     None  Food Products
     None  Funeral Home
     None  Gun Accessories
     None  Hair/Nail Care and Cosmetics
     None  Handyman Services
     None  Health Care Facilities and Services
     None  Health Care
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  Home Maintenance
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insulation
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jewelry
     None  Liquor Stores
     None  Orthodontist
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Physician
     None  Plumbing
     None  Portable Buildings
     None  Propane Delivery
     None  Propane
     None  Property Management
     None  Racing - Cars
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  Roofing
     None  Schools
     None  Senior Citizens Services
     None  Septic Services
     None  Sheds, Outbuildings
     None  Shipping Services
     None  Small Engine Repair
     None  Specialty/Gifts
     None  Storage
     None  Tax Preparation
     None  Tile - Installation and Repair
     None  Tires
     None  Tractor, Trailer and RV Sales
     None  Upholstery
     None  Veterinarian
     None  Window Replacement
     None  Windshield Repair
     None  Winery
     None  Woodworking


 
“Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.”
– Vesta M. Kelly  
Contact Us | Advertise | Classified Ad | News Stands | Subscribe  

  Volume No. 15 Issue No. 12 December 2018  

None
None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Community Calendar   None Community Photos  
None Did You Know?   None FFPD Column   None FFPD News   None From the Publisher  
None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business   None News Briefs   None News From D 49  
None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life   None Rumors  
None
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
None
 

Bill Radford

  Rocky Raccon on the prairie
  By Bill Radford

   Longtime local journalist Bill Radford and his wife, Margaret, live on 5 acres in the Falcon area with ducks, chickens, rabbits, dogs, cats, two noisy parrots, goats and two horses. Contact Bill at billradford3@gmail.com.
Our neighbor Shirley recently had an uninvited, nighttime visitor -– a raccoon.
   
   She watched from inside her house as it feasted on cat food on the front deck. It was the first time she had seen a raccoon in her many years in the neighborhood, and we were both surprised that a raccoon was living out here on the prairie.
   
   We shouldn't have been, it seems. Raccoons are found pretty much anywhere, said Cody Wigner, assistant area wildlife manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
   
   "They're highly adaptable," he said. They do typically have a water source nearby, he said; in our case, there are a couple of ponds in the neighborhood. "Another big thing, is they need somewhere to live, and that could be anywhere from a hollowed-out tree to a brush pile to just culverts in the road,” Wigner said.
   
   My first reaction to the raccoon spotting was to tighten up security around our ducks, chickens and rabbits and make sure there was no easy way for a raccoon to get to them. That was not an overreaction, Wigner said. Raccoons can definitely pose a threat to poultry and other small livestock.
   
   "They eat just about anything, whatever's available," Wigner said. In the countryside, their diet could include anything from small rodents to snakes to dog or cat food to "any other kind of vegetation that's out there to eat." At Shirley's, the raccoon could count on a steady supply of cat food, since she maintains a feral cat colony. She's only spotted it that one night, however, so either it has moved on or it's keeping a low profile.
   
   As with other wildlife, Wigner said not to feed any raccoons hanging around. Keep that fear of humans in them and don't try to pet or handle them. "They are very, very strong and ferocious animals if cornered or put into that defensive mode," he said.
   
   They also can carry rabies and other diseases. In July, the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment reported that a baby raccoon a woman had cared for in her home after finding it abandoned by its mother had tested positive for rabies. Twenty-one people had been exposed to the raccoon, making it the largest rabies exposure case in Weld County, according to a health department news release. All of the people underwent post-exposure rabies treatment. The health department also noted that it is illegal in Colorado to possess just about any species of wildlife without proper permits and licenses.
   
   It's not the only time raccoons have made headlines this year. In June, a skyscraper-climbing raccoon in Minnesota became an internet sensation. Also last spring, Youngstown, Ohio, police received more than a dozen calls about oddly behaving raccoons; the "zombie-like" raccoons were out in the daytime, baring their teeth and falling over, according to reports. Ohio's Department of Natural Resources said the animals likely had distemper, a viral disease. A similar outbreak was seen among Central Park raccoons in New York City over the summer.
   
   Want to keep raccoons away? A fact sheet on the city of Louisville's website notes that there are several raccoon sprays and repellants available. "However," the fact sheet warns, "these products can be hit or miss and often involve strong chemicals, which can be harmful to the environment, pets or other animals." The best approach, according to the fact sheet, is to make sure there's nothing that will attract a raccoon by ensuring garbage cans are tightly secured and stored in your garage when not in use, keeping pet food indoors and closing all entry points into your house and attic. (Raccoons, for example, may take advantage of an open doggie door.)
   
   Here are a few facts on raccoons, culled from the PBS "Nature" website:
  • The word “raccoon” is an adaptation of a native Powhatan word meaning “animal that scratches with its hands.”
  • While raccoons don't hibernate during winter, they have been known to sleep in their dens for weeks.
  • It has been theorized that the raccoon's most familiar feature — the mask of black fur that covers its eyes — may help reduce glare and enhance the nocturnal animal's night vision.
  
Falcon resident Shirley Zumpf took this photo of a raccoon enjoying a late-night snack of cat food on her front deck. Zumpf maintains a feral cat colony. Photo submitted.
 
Facebook print this page      


  © 2004-2018 The New Falcon Herald. All rights reserved. About | Contact | Advertise | News Stands | Privacy Policy