While delivering her year end report to Kimberley Council, Danica Roussy from WildSafe BC was asked by Coun. Jason McBain about raccoons in Kimberley.
Roussy affirmed that that there is a definite increase in raccoons in Kimberley, and that they have even made their way over the Gray Creek Pass to the Nelson area.
Raccoons are “tricky little buggers” according to Roussy, with the ability to get into anything.
“They are normally shy, nocturnal animals,” she said.
That said, you don’t want to make your home and property hospitable to them.
The best way to avoid providing food or habitat for raccoons is to feed your pets indoors and make sure your pet doors are locked at night. Don’t put bird seed out and close up any holes or entrances where they could get into a shed or the eaves of your home.
A good rule of thumb is, if a bear can’t get into it, neither can a raccoon, Roussy says.
Raccoons can cause significant damage to gardens, buildings, crops, and livestock in their search for food and denning sites. Some people feed raccoons under the mistaken idea that this helps them. Food-conditioned and human-habituated raccoons become bolder around humans and can even cause injury. A high percentage of raccoons can carry a roundworm parasite that is potentially dangerous to humans and care should be taken in dealing with feces left by raccoons. While raccoons have the potential to carry rabies, there have been no cases of rabies found in raccoons in BC. Children should be taught not to approach any wildlife, as serious bites and scratches may result from an encounter with a raccoon.
Raccoons are protected under the BC Wildlife Act. While trapping and relocating raccoons without a permit is allowed if they are causing damage on a person’s property, it can be challenging to do so humanely and safely. WildSafeBC recommends exploring other options under “Conflict Reduction” that may have longer lasting results. If removal is necessary, consider contacting a qualified pest management contractor.
Kimberley is also experiencing a rise in another non-native species, wild turkeys.