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Animal kingdom: Raccoons rampant in Marine Park, residents report

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Folks live in Marine Park because they like the quiet life — but now they’re getting a taste of the wildlife.

Raccoons and other varmints are overrunning the suburban neighborhood, locals say, and social media is awash with pictures of the furry creatures.

“They seem to be popping up all over,” said Jeanette Z., who didn’t want to use her full name because a family member works for the city.

Police responded to a report of a possibly rabid raccoon on Haring Street in Madison near the border with Marine Park on May 8, and an Emergency Services Unit arrived to capture the critter.

Rabid raccoons are euthanized, but if authorities determine that the animal is not actually sick, police move it to a safer location, such as a park, according to a police spokesman. Police will avoid harming a healthy animal whenever possible, but public safety is paramount.

“Usually they try to corral it into a cage,” he said. “If it’s vicious at any point then they try to tranquilize it.”

Locals started reporting frequent raccoon and opossum sightings in late April and early May, as several Marine Parkers began sharing pictures of the animals to a local Facebook group. Some commented that there are more in the neighborhood recently. Jeanette said she has heard from coworkers and neighbors that more critters have started showing up since the end of March. She has only seen the same big, fearless raccoon that repeatedly prowls around her house on Coleman Street — and she’s at a loss to fend it off.

“It’s in the trees, on the garage roof, climbing over the fences,” she said. “It’s big and fat and comes out in the daylight. It’s not afraid when I throw water at it.”

Other Marine Parkers have encountered less intimidating raccoons. One man posted a picture of a raccoon sleeping on his patio furniture during the day, prompting dozens of comments about other furry encounters.

“I was surprised there were so many raccoon sightings,” said John Chan. “I’ve driven around at night and seen opossums, but never raccoons.”

Chan said he will replace cushions that the animal relieved itself on, and will start bringing them inside at night. Jeanette said she hopes to trap the rotund raccoon frequenting her house and take it to a more forested area nearby.

Some of the comments focused on the fact that the raccoons are being spotted during the day, since the animals are normally nocturnal. Raccoons active during the day could have rabies, but that isn’t necessarily the case, according to Wildlife NYC — a city initiative to spread awareness of the wild animals that often live in urban spaces. People who see raccoons should refrain from feeding them, keep their distance, seal off areas where they could make dens on a property, and vaccinate their pets, according to its website.

The city said that homeowners who want to hire a professional to trap and remove raccoons or other wildlife should contact the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which oversees state wildlife. Department officials did not respond to requests for comment on the raccoons in Marine Park.

This is not the first time Southern Brooklyn has been overrun with raccoons. In 2016, Gerritsen Beachers reported rampant raccoons roaming throughout their neighborhood.

Of course, some Brooklynites credit — or blame — legendary police officer and “Bugbuster” Jimmy Baldessano for repopulating Brooklyn with four-legged varmints.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Updated 3:17 pm, May 14, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Live & Let Live from Brooklyn says:
Then legendary police officer Jimmy Baldessano is my hero.

I love Raccoons and like critters of nature (much more than the human species that are over running Brooklyn of late). Raccoons are beautiful and run around in family packs - so adorable.

There's too much hype about Raccoons as they don't bother you if you don't bother then. Certainly the nutty Jeannette Z "throwing water" at it should get what she deserves - I wonder how she'd react to someone "throwing water" at her. Squirrels climb everywhere that Raccoons do and no one is "throwing water" at them or making insane reports to the police about them.

Live & let live!
May 14, 9:55 am
ty from pps says:
save the tail for my bike
May 14, 11:03 am
Jane from Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights says:
Folks, they're all over the place. I've seen them along 10th Ave, 11th Ave, Ft Hamilton Pkwy, and various side streets. I've also seen opossums in McKinley Park(fyi-opposums rarely, if ever, get rabies).

And it's NOT legal to just drop an animal off in the parks. I called the parks department about that, having seen an exterminator attempting to drop one off very early in the morning at McKinley park.

Another FYI-raccoons, while primarily nocturnal, will go out at other times, especially if a mother has kits.
May 14, 1:11 pm
Rolston says:
The poor little opossum drinking gasoline-laced gutter water. It's heartbreaking.
May 14, 10:42 pm
Old time Brooklyn from Slope says:
Vermin
May 15, 11:31 am
SCR from Realityville says:
My neighborhood in northeastern,Queens,is infested with racoons. It's funny,but,they were totally non-existent here;until about 20-years ago.They are potentially dangerous urban and suburban pests. Ideally,the only good non-rural area racoon,is the Beatles 1968"Rocky Racoon!!
May 15, 8:52 pm
Joey from Marine Park says:
I know people who trap them and drop them off in Staten Island.
May 16, 5:13 pm

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