PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When aggressive raccoons attacked people and their pets in Northwest Portland recently, some of the victims hired professional wildlife control experts.
This week, 2 of the juvenile raccoons were trapped — giving victims like Jordan Barbeau some relief.
The main aggressor was the mother raccoon, who ditched her kits as soon as they were trapped. With fewer young to protect, it’s possible she won’t be as aggressive.
“She almost certainly has been cage trapped before and was probably relocated to this area and there is a reason why that’s illegal,” Barbeau told KOIN 6 News.
Due to the spread of disease and poor outcomes like these in Northwest Portland, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife classifies these animals as habituated and damaged. When they have constant conflict with humans, they must be euthanized.
“Especially in these situations with aggressive ones because that just continues down the genealogy with this raccoon,” said Anna Loyd, a wildlife control operator with ABL Wildlife. “They teach each other how to interact.”
The worst thing you can ever do to a raccoon is give it food, she said.
“Any time you toss some food at them on a trail or you’re running around in a park or you interact with a wild animal and you feed it or you try to get close to it, you’re damaging that animal,” Loyd told KOIN 6 News. “You’re habituating that animal by getting it used to human presence and making it not afraid.”
These neighborhoods are nestled between many restaurants. A lot of food debris ends up on the ground here.
The lesson is to let wildlife be wildlife.
“If we can actually make the neighborhood less attractive to them for food sources then, hopefully, they will move on and migrate a little further out of the city so they’re not putting people, their pets or their children at risk,” Barbeau said.