2006_08_raccoongraf.jpgMichele Howley asked us if we knew anything about raccoons in Brooklyn. Wait, we should back up. She actually detailed a bizarre encounter with raccoons - including baby racoons - and the NYPD in Williamsburg and wondered if anyone else noticed raccoons in the midst. Her story was so good (there's a 311 call!) that we had to share it with you too:

On Friday evening, Tobyjoe and I walked to Miyako on North 7th to get some Sushi. As we were leaving, we saw a small group of hipster gals standing at the empty lot next to the Fish Shack. They were giggling and bending down and taking pictures. Knowing that there are numerous stray cats in said lot, I figured they were having a moment with the kitties. We walked up and looked in. Mind you, it was very much still daylight and so you might imagine how shocked I was to see a pack of raccoons swarming the lot. They were tearing into a bunch of cat food cans left there for the strays while the strays were standing outside the fence where the people were, scared out of their heads and equally as confused and perplexed as
we all were.

Tobyjoe counted 6 raccoons. There was a mother whose nipples were still stretched out from all the work and at least 5 babies. They were fighting with one another over the food. They were making noises like gremlins. It was actually kind of scary.

I'm from the country. Last time I checked, raccoons aren't supposed to be out during the day. If they are, often times that means they might be rabid. I am sure you know this. Everyone else on the street that day, however, did not. The girls wanted to pet them. I advised them not to. I called 311 who decided that 911 would be better for me even though it
wasn't an emergency. 911 sent the NYPD. They showed up a few minutes later. (Had this been Bed Stuy, I'd still be waiting. But Williamsburg! And they're there in minutes flat. Literally.)

Of course, by the time they got there, the raccoons knew to finish the cat food and then go into hiding again. Worried the cop wouldn't believe me; I offered to go buy another can of food. He then told me that I am not the only person to have reported a bunch of hungry and wile raccoons. He, himself, had taken several similar calls. When I asked him whether or not they planned on doing anything about it, he said, "Well, ma'am, they were probably here before you and me." He also said that one day he saw a raccoon walking up Graham Avenue and drove around the block to get a double take.

I apologized for bringing them old news and so they went on their way, as did we. But I'm still a little perplexed as to why there is apparently a raccoon outbreak sweeping Williamsburg and Greenpoint. And it's a little disconcerting they're coming out during the day.

What the hell is going on?

We do not know. Could this be due to a lot of trash and/or construction detritus being left around for raccoons? And when judgment day comes, who will reign supreme: Raccoons or hipsters?

Photograph from luna park on Flickr; also, someone noticed raccoons in a Brooklyn backyard tree, which makes more sense