While the city gathers around their smartphones and work computers to watch the latest subway rat video, the true terror that grips Brooklyn goes unnoticed. No, not the release of a new Troy Ave mixtape, we’re talking about raccoons. The exact number of Sly Coopers hiding in your backyard or your neighborhood park is unknown, but what we do know is that unlike the bears plotting against us from afar, the racoons have already shown up in huge numbers. According to this piece in the Times, 1,581 calls were made to 311 by mid-December 2015 who had to dealing with these admittedly cute, yet possibly disease-filled creatures nesting in their homes, making tons of noise and terrorizing their cats.
Raccoon control calls are up all over the city, but it seems that Brooklyn is where the majority of trappers are going after this little miscreants. Why Brooklyn? Perhaps they want to be the first to get in the Brooklyn Flea on a Sunday, or because they want to move into places like Carroll Gardens and Park Slope without having to pay rent. Whatever the reason, the cute factor of your new raccoon friends can only go so far when you read the complaints from Brooklynites about racoons peeping through windows, killing their backyard chickens or this entire thing:
The woman, Wendy Hooker, a retired designer of window displays, had first called the trapper in August after seeing a dozen raccoons “wilding” in her yard, as she put it. This one, caught in December, was among the last of the bunch.
“They were trashing my grapevine, beating my cat,” Ms. Hooker said. “It was like a frat party. They were insane.”
Now the law, which all of us have to follow, says that once trappers (who charge $100-$300 a raccoon) get these little monsters, they’re supposed to kill them. No bail, no trial, no Netflix documentary series. This is done because racoons are classified as a rabies-vector species, and so they don’t just start banging the nearest raccoon who was dumped somewhere a week ago. Yet the story spends a lot of time talking to trappers who’ve gone soft and feel bad for the little cute raccoons and drop them off in parks rather than kill them.
Well too bad, because raccoons belong in the forest or at least New Jersey. We deal with many things paying too much to live in Brooklyn. Terrible subway service, posers who make overly expensive mediocre chocolate, but the line stops here. Yes, seeing videos of raccoons eating pizza and getting drunk are funny and adorable. You know what isn’t funny, and adorable? Rabies, raccoons dying in your walls and stinking up your apartment worse than your roommate who vapes all day and racoons banging on your fire escape making you feel inadequate. Follow the law and kill the raccoons in your backyard. Well, get someone to do that,because we don’t know about you but we’re not going near those things.