Masked Intruder Sleeps One Off

A masked intruder crawled into GM’s garden early Saturday morning to sleep one off. GM first noticed the intruder about noon, curled up between GM’s bike shed and his deck. About all that was visible was his or her furry striped tail.

It was, of course, a raccoon.

This immediately alarmed GM. While it was good that the raccoon was asleep instead of awake during the day (a classic sign of rabies) it was nonetheless unusual for a raccoon to sleep so close to humans. Out of an abundance of caution, GM called Animal Control, but they weren’t alarmed. They said to let it sleep, or maybe make some noise to get it to move. GM decided to just let it sleep for a while.

But after about five hours, it was still asleep, and GM wanted to get out some bikes. After a bunch of noise didn’t seem to get the raccoon to leave, GM placed another call to Animal Control. They agreed to come out and take look. A half hour later an officer arrived. She came out back, poked the raccoon, and decided that it was harmless. This was mostly because the raccoon scurried away after being rudely poked. She stated that it was a juvenile raccoon just looking for a place to sleep and that it would probably leave at night.

And that it did, as you can see in the video above. It wasn’t until about 8:30 that night that it lazily woke up, stretched and ambled a couple feet. It actually hung out on GM’s deck another 45 minutes or so before finally shuffling off (probably waiting for it to get a bit darker)

GM was under the impression that raccoons don’t come into Georgetown unless sick. It was just two years ago when a rabid raccoon attacked several people in the neighborhood. One of those people, ANC Commissioner Rick Murphy, was one of those people bitten. GM reached out to him first when he first saw the animal Saturday. And Murphy correctly predicted that Animal Control would not be concerned, and neither was he. Raccoons are here more than we realize, but since they sleep during the day, we hardly see them.

Murphy also theorized that with all the restaurants closed, that means trash-eating animals like rats and raccoons have also lost their dine-out options. So like humans, they’ve had to get a little creative and scavenge. Well, more so, at least.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Masked Intruder Sleeps One Off

  1. Great documentary on raccoons in urban areas is available via PBS WETA Passport. Cameras and radios attached to them allow researchers to track them and see what they see: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/raccoon-nation-full-episode/7558/?button=fullepisode

  2. georgetowncitizen

    GM may recall from his time at Montrose Walk that for a couple years we had an even fatter raccoon who used to amble across R St. from Montrose and Rock Creek Parks in order to “graze” the trash bags the residents had placed on the sidewalk for morning pick-up. I rather miss him.

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