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It's a raccoon world and we're just living in it

From Jamaica Plain to Cambridge, rascally raccoons are showing us whom local houses really belong to:

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Comments

...they’re adorable! They’ve never hurt anyone.

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Except the ones with rabies!

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....but I would never get that close to one. Same for any other wild animal. I think they're really cool, and I appreciate them for what they are....which is wild.

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Except for the cats, and the rabies and roundworm.

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Good lord, think of the tomatoes they destroy. And the garbage can lids pried off, leaving their evil little hand prints. They look like bandits for a reason.

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A pro-raccoon web page assures me that only one person ever has died in the United States because they caught rabies from a raccoon. But that's because post-exposure prophylaxis--go which involves multiple doses of a vaccine--is available and works.

Even healthy raccoons do bite, and raccoons are normally nocturnal. Fifteen years ago, the warnings were to stay away from any raccoon that was out during the day, because they were more likely to have rabies.

Even a healthy raccoon might rip open your trash, or sneak through a cat flap and eat anything it can get to in your kitchen. That isn't reason to panic, but trying to keep them out of your house makes a lot of sense.

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And all reports are that it ... hurts. A lot.

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.... people claim according to a 12 year old who recently had it.

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It's the rabies immunoglobulin shots that hurt like a bastard. The stuff is the consistency of maple syrup, which means they use the big needles (think "pencil lead" thickness), and it needs to go into fatty tissue, so you have your choice of your abdomen, upper thigh, or butt. It's also dosed based on body weight, and your humble narrator is both very tall and quite hefty, so when I got mine a few years back (thanks, bat that made it into my house while I was asleep!), it was 8 giant syringes of liquid fire dispensed to both thighs and one buttock.

Still better than dying a horrible death from a virus that melts your brain, though.

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thanks, bat that made it into my house while I was asleep!

Multiply this experience by millions of people and you get a far more likely scenario for how SARS-CoV-2 got into the human population than the bat soup theory.

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Given the need for compliance, things have changed: the rabies shots of yore were replaced 40 years ago with a more reasonable regimen:

The now-obsolete series of 17 painful injections into the stomach muscles that constituted the standard regimen in the mid-20th century wouldn’t induce many people to wax nostalgic. But because the disease is rare in humans and the number of people vaccinated low, local hospital officials say common knowledge has not yet caught up to the fact that by 1980, the vaccine administration became much less severe.

https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/myth-busted...

Not to say that this is pleasant, but not what our parents threatened us with if we wanted to play with wildlife or stray dogs.

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The newer one isn't *pleasant* but the two people I know who've gotten one in the past decade didn't report it being particularly painful.

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they won't mess with you.

They'll just make a mess of your unprotected trash.

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Ive battled more than a few raccoons on my back deck, which is on the 2nd floor of 3 in Dorchester. Tough and stubborn.

The raccoons always came at night tho. This is wild, them out in broad daylight.

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They were gentle and did not harm us the cats or dogs. We all often met on the back porch of an evening and showed respect and some affection all around.

Then returning from a vacation we discovered the slumlord had intentionally boarded up their exit trapping the entire raccoon family inside. The neighbors heard them desperately trying to claw their way out all night till slowly they all died. I hope a similar end comes to that slumlord.

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Just like human teens wandering the night in packs eating garbage.

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These look like juvenile raccoons to my eye. They are more likely to be out during the day.

Also, raccoons will be awake at whatever time of day has the best food. Traditionally at night, but not obligatory, particularly in urban environments.

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Ours seem to have memorized the trash day schedule.

Abundant resources during the day mean trash pandas out in the daylight.

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3am or 4am by horrific, screeching brawls between trash-panda families duking it out for possession of the upper branches of some big tree. In City Point, the tree was on my next-door neighbor's property; in the S. End, it was on the next block but line-of-sight from my place, and it might have been right outside my window for how well the racket carried. Unearthly sounding, a nightmarish hullabaloo.

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