Sunday, July 31, 2011

LA River: Raccoon Remains, Tales & Serious Health Warnings

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 29, 2011.  Walking down in the the riverbed, through Elysian Valley, we came across a long since dead raccoon.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

More Raccoon Tales:
Last week, a Corralitas Drive neighbor said raccoons were the likely culprit of a raid on her worm farm.  The tight fitting lid on the foot-high box was completely removed, pushed aside and all the worms were missing.  If it requires manual dexterity to get to food, raccoons will find a way.

A few years ago, another Corralitas neighbor had to secure chicken wire just under the surface of his garden ponds after the raccoons kept coming back for all his fish.  The final straw was when a raccoon caught "Elvis," the fat goldfish who had eluded the raccoons for a few years.   Apparently "Elvis" wasn't very tasty, as the raccoon discarded "Elvis" after only eating half of him.   

Learn more about living with raccoons and other urban wildlife on the City's Animal Services website.

Heath Warnings:
In 2009-2010, there was a distemper outbreak in Los Angeles raccoons.  The disease can be spread to dogs.  Keep your all your pets' vaccinations up to date.  Read more about the 2010 distemper outbreak on the Los Angeles County Public Heath Services website.

While we're on the subject of disease, read about the rabies outbreak in bats on the County's website.    A higher number than usual of rabid bats have been confirmed this year, including one in Glendale and one in Downtown LA.  LA County recently issued a public heath advisory due to the outbreak. 

Bat Tale:
Around 11PM Thursday, I watched a good sized bat swoop down to (probably) catch a bug near my backyard fence.  We don't see bats too often but, it was a reminder, they help control the insect population.