Search Results

NYC Baby Raccoon Woes

June 2, 2020

Life in the urban raccoon world is complex and so is the intersection between urban humans and the wildlife that lives among them. These baby raccoons are suffering from mange and one in the litter has no tail….

Baby Raccoons on the Move (video)

April 13, 2020

Walking the NYC Pandemic Long-time readers of this blog may remember my obsession with a raccoon den on the huge retaining wall in NYC’s Riverside Park. Well, ten years on, the joint’s still jumpin’ at the Raccoon Lodge. All year, a raccoon or two will quietly emerge as the sun gets low to loll about […]

Raccoons Again

March 14, 2014

On a mild, clear evening a few nights ago, the dog and I entered Riverside Park. It was a little after 7 PM and thanks to the recent arrival of Daylight Saving Time, there lingered still the faintest trace of light in the sky. Down by the river, the last of the rush hour traffic […]

Raccoon Bonanza in Riverside Park (w video)

June 23, 2013

Last night at dusk, the great retaining wall of Riverside Park was crawling with raccoons. This is the same den I’ve been watching for years now. In 2009 or 2010, before the raccoon rabies epidemic hit, I once saw six raccoons emerge from this den, like clowns from a clown car. Last night, seven racoons […]

Peeking, Lolling Raccoon

April 14, 2013

Just before sunset yesterday, someone was peeking out of the main raccoon den in the Riverside Park retaining wall. First a nose. Then an ear and an eye. and finally most of the masked face. As we watched, that someone started lolling about in the entrance.Look at that hand, er, I mean paw. Here is […]

Raccoon Carries Baby in Riverside Park

April 7, 2013

Last night I saw something I’d never seen before: a mother raccoon carrying her tiny baby in her mouth. The photos, sadly, are blurry. My camera had run out of battery, so I had only my iPhone, which doesn’t do well in low light. I entered the park just as the sun was setting over […]

NYC’s Riverside Park Raccoons Emerge

March 21, 2013

By the end of winter, I’m missing my regular sightings of Riverside Park’s raccoons. There are a couple of reasons I don’t see raccoons in winter as often as the rest of the year. The first reason is my schedule. Dusk comes so early I’m rarely in the park at the right time to see […]

Urban Raccoons in Winter

February 8, 2012

I hadn’t seen the raccoons that live in the Riverside Park retaining wall for some time. I believe their numbers were cut down during the great raccoon rabies epidemic of 2010.  I once saw as many as six raccoons come out of this hole, like clowns from a clown car.  But lately, I’ve seen only […]

How Many Raccoons Live in Manhattan, Anyway?

October 3, 2011

So just how many of you guys are out here, anyway? Back in 2010, I asked several wildlife experts how many raccoons were living in Central Park.  Not one would venture an answer. But the Great Raccoon Rabies Epizootic of 2009-2010 has apparently yielded enough data for an estimate.  Dr. Sally Slavinski of the NYC […]

NYC Raccoon Sunset

September 2, 2011

One evening earlier this week, Esau and I strolled over to Riverside Park. The sun was already going down, and I thought with longing of those 15 hour days of June when daylight stretches into our nights. We’re down to 13-hour days now on our annual march to the puny gray 9-hour slivers that pass […]

Whatever Happened to the Rabid Raccoons of Central Park?

August 23, 2011

Remember NYC’s great raccoon rabies outbreak of 2010? It began in the summer of 2009 with two rabid raccoons in northern Manhattan. Several months passed and all seemed quiet on the epidemiological front. And then, boom! ten rabid raccoons were reported in December 2009, all of them in or near Central Park. Rabies is a […]

NYC Raccoons and Red-tails in Winter

February 22, 2011

Snow frosted the city yesterday. The water towers wore white skull caps. Esau was on the alert for wildlife but the park was quiet The retaining wall is always beautiful, and especially so with a dusting of snow. The entrance to the large raccoon den is once again piled with snow. It’s been over a […]

Raccoons, Marshmallows and the U.S. Government

November 5, 2010

Last weekend, Esau and I discovered a gray box snuggled up against the retaining wall in Riverside Park. A round hole at either end led to a small chute and a dark interior. High in the wall, just south of the box, is a raccoon den. I know it’s a raccoon den because, for the […]

Riverside Park Spring Walk: Raccoons, Retaining Walls and the USDA

March 25, 2010

Find out why yesterday’s sighting of a USDA truck is cause for rejoicing. But first, strange markings appeared last week on the retaining wall and nearby path. With my wildlife-obsessed outlook, I speculate that the circled numbers and targets have something to do with the raccoon vaccination program. But what? Do the markings indicate that […]

Raccoon Journal (Provincetown, 1984) by Stanley Kunitz (two excerpts)

March 6, 2010

from Raccoon Journal by Stanley Kunitz To be like Orpheus, who could talk with animals in their own language – in sleep I had that art … ********** Raccoons! I can hear them confabulating on the porch, half churring, half growling, bubbling to a manic hoot that curdles the night air. Something out there appalls. […]