I believe raccoons can be a bit of a nuisance in some towns across America, I’m not sure just how far they have penetrated into the major cities but we have a similar problem, only it’s not with raccoons but with foxes.. I live in Tooting, SW London and if you look that up in Google maps you’ll see that whilst it’s not ‘central’ London, it’s still quite a few miles from the countryside but somehow or another we have foxes not just in Tooting but actually even in the center of London.
According to some reports there are 27 foxes per square mile in London but from the evidence of my own eyes I’d put that figure at 27 per street. Once it gets dark then they all come out to play and sometimes it’s not unusual to see three of four just playing in the street and giving you a dirty look that says ‘WTF are you doing up now, don’t you know we own the streets after midnight..?’
The photo above, I took this morning looking out at my garden, sometimes I even see fox cubs playing and frolicking in the garden. They can be just as much an nuisance as raccoons, they tend to rip open rubbish bags and spread the rubbish all over the roads and they make a terrible racket at night during mating season, the first time I heard it I thought some poor cat was being attacked by a large dog but when I shone my torch out the window I realised it was foxes ummm.. foxing each other senseless.. I’m not sure if raccoons mate quietly but if they do then I’d quite happily swap please.
So, outside my back garden (some would say a jungle) I have all sorts of wildlife (and that’s not including my two boys), there are the obvious birds but also squirrels too and then there are all the cats whom spend long long but ultimately fruitless hours stalking and chasing both birds and squirrels but never EVER catch either. I secretly think squirrels are put on this earth solely to torment cats, I watch them from my window, playing cat and mouse .. I mean cat and squirrel with the local cats and I can almost see what they are thinking, “hey cat, how do you like a taste of your own medicine..” and the cats try their best to creep up on the squirrels and at the last moment the squirrel bounces off to freedom and the cat invariably stops the chase and washes itself like it knows I’m watching and he’s embarrassed and going “who me?, no, not me mister, I wasn’t really chasing that squirrel… “
And then there are the dogs, who chase the cats equally fruitlessly and then the foxes too, a friend in the States once sent me a photo of a small bear stuck half way up a tree in her back garden but she did actually live out in the sticks so that’s probably to be expected, I did suggest she call him Winnie The Pooh as he was actually going after a bee’s nest..
So, birds, squirrels, cats, dogs and foxes in the middle of London, sometimes it’s like a friggin zoo out there, all I need now is David Attenborough with a film crew…