Raccoons are not shy about seeking food and shelter in urban and suburban neighborhoods.
When Sharing Isn't Caring:
Wild Animal Feeding Is Risk for Humans and Animals
They're cute, they're clever, and they show up unexpectedly in backyards and parks at night. No, we don't mean the virtual creatures from Pokemon Go - we're talking about raccoons, skunks, opossums, and all the other wildlife that make their homes among humans in urban and suburban neighborhoods.
Although these animals are a natural part of the environment here in San Mateo County, finding ways to coexist with them isn't always easy. They invade attics and garages, dig up lawns, steal fruit and vegetables, scatter garbage, and pick fights with pets. Sometimes they cause more serious problems, like spreading parasites and diseases to humans.
The animals don't benefit from living among humans, either. Animals that become accustomed to humans often begin to behave boldly or aggressively, and this frequently results in the animal being trapped and euthanized. The increased contact between animals when they congregate around ample food sources leads to increased fighting and disease transmission.
Fortunately, many of these issues can be prevented with one simple change: don't feed the animals. This includes both intentional wildlife feeding (which is illegal in California), as well as accidental feeding like leaving pet food out overnight, allowing animals access to garbage, and waiting to harvest ripe fruits and vegetables. Wild animals will go where they can find a meal, so it's best to make sure your property isn't providing one.
For more information, check out our list of 10 reasons you shouldn't feed wild and stray animals