Raccoons terrorizing SE ABQ neighborhood
July 24, 2018 10:27 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - It's not uncommon to hear people vowing to “take back the community” from crime, but in a Southeast Albuquerque neighborhood, one man wants his neighbors to take a stand against something else: raccoons.
Last week, Edward Standefer and his family woke up to a commotion in the backyard. When he went outside, his cat, Meatball, was nowhere to be found, but there was evidence of an attack on the patio.
“His white fur was all over the place,” Standefer said. “I mean to see that, I thought he was eaten for sure.”
The Standefer’s caught a glimpse of the culprit, a raccoon. Meatball got away and is recovering.
“His belly had a pretty good sized bite taken out of it, right under his arm here and since then, his fur has kind of grown over it,” Standefer said.
A couple days before the attack on Meatball, a woman was walking her dog through Hyder Park when she became a victim herself. The victim was rounding the corner on Wellsley and Santa Clara when she came across a raccoon with babies in the street.
“If it’s a protective issue, it’s just like a bear,” New Mexico Game and Fish representative John Martsh said. “They’re a cousin to a bear in fact, so when the mom is with the babies and someone’s too close, they will protect them.”
The raccoon bit the woman in the thigh. Martsh said they’ve set traps in the area and don’t believe the critter was rabid. Although the victim is getting a series of rabies shots as a precaution.
Martsh said they see a spike in raccoon reports during the summer because that's when the animals are out looking for food. That doesn’t ease Standefer's fears.
“I think it’s terrible to think that Meatball is just the next line up of probably a lot more likely attacks that will happen in the area if residents don’t actually follow up and do something about it,” Standefer said.
Martsh said if people continue to see raccoons in their yard, it's probably because they have left food out.
He says to keep the raccoons from coming back, take in all pet food and bird seed at night and try not to give them access to water. If the raccoon is causing damage to property or attacking pets, people can call Game and Fish for a trap.
Updated: July 24, 2018 10:27 PM
Created: July 24, 2018 09:30 PM
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