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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

NYC Snow Day Brings News of Central Park Raccoons and Coyotes

February 27, 2010

The Parks Department declares Saturday an official Snow Day, and is providing free sleds and hot cocoa at several parks, including Riverside at 103rd. Esau and I went by to check it out. We ran into Sunny and Sheriden, our Urban Park Ranger friends, who were supervising the happy sledders from the bottom of the […]

NYC Vaccinating Raccoons To Stop Rabies Epidemic

February 18, 2010

I spoke Tuesday with Dr. Sally Slavinski of the NYC Health Department to get the latest on the city’s response to the swiftly spreading rabies situation. I will write a more detailed post as soon as I can find time, but here is the news in a nutshell, with few details, few photos and little […]

Galumphing Dogs and Wary Raccoons

January 28, 2010

Esau and I went raccoon spotting the night before last, around 7:30 PM. The evening before, we had seen the usual trio. The mother and one baby were up on the wall near their den entrance, and the other baby was down on the ground, messing around with some unidentified object. It was too dark […]

New York City Raccoons Go About Their Business in Riverside Park

January 24, 2010

I’ve been so interested in Manhattan’s raccoon rabies epidemic that I’ve been neglecting to write about the raccoons themselves. I continue to watch my local raccoons almost every evening, and get powerful pleasure from seeing them go about their business. Five of them live in one den, a rectangular hole in the stone retaining wall. […]

Rabid Raccoons in Central Park

December 16, 2009

After years of being pretty much rabies-free, Manhattan has four confirmed rabies cases in 2009, all in raccoons.  One rabid raccoon was found last summer in Inwood Park; the other three were all found dead in Central Park’s North Woods, two in the week of December 7th. Oh, my lovely Riverside raccoons, what will happen […]

Raccoons!

November 1, 2009

A little after 4:30 this afternoon, inside Riverside Park and just north of the 108th Street entrance, Esau and I spy three little faces all in a row, peeping out at us from a hole in the great wall:  Raccoons! They stare. They wrestle. They stare. Dusk comes down fast and they seem restless. Probably […]