Raccoons are still expanding their presence in NYC, having already raccoonified Harlem, Queens, and the dumpsters in Central Park. Now they've set their sights on the Upper West Side, with one furry little guy casing a fancy apartment on 94th and West End. Listen, raccoons know where to get the good trash.
Apparently an 8-year-old UWS resident noticed the uninvited guest in his bedroom yesterday morning, while he got ready for school in his parents' eighth floor apartment at 680 West End Avenue. The raccoon reportedly made entry through his window. "I was like, 'what?!' - I was so scared, I just immediately shut the door," Rio Mullins told ABC 7.
Rio and his sibling were being watched by a babysitter, who took the children outside and called the police. "The window was open. We think it came in through the fire escape," the building's doorman told the Post. NYPD's Emergency Service Unit caught the little guy, and will either hand it over to the Animal Care Centers of NYC or set it free in Riverside Park, where it will probably bite one of my family members.
For the most part, raccoons are harmless, but they can cause damage to homes and do occasionally carry rabies. The city's raccoon population has noticeably spiked over the last few years, and the city's euthanized hundreds of the animals over the last few years to test for rabies (out of the 662 killed and tested between 2014 and 2016, only 18 tested positive). And Rio says they do not make good playmates. "I was like, creeped out," he said of his raccoon encounter. "I didn't want to go in my room. It smelled."
It's hard out there for a Procyon lotor.