Georgia Declares War on Rabid Raccoons

February 10th, 2015

Georgia Declares War on Rabid Raccoons

Representative Emory Dunahoo, R-Gainesville, GA introduced House Bill 160 as measure to combat rapid raccoons.  The bill would effectively cancel the ban on trapping raccoons in areas north of and including Carroll, Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Barrow, Jackson, Madison, and Elbert counties at any time during the year.

Dunahoo said the bill comes at the request of the Department of Natural Resources. Apparently, rabid raccoons have been encountered in many of the counties. The agency wants to make it legal for residents to trap motivated pests without fear of being ticketed. According to Dunahoo, “the ban dates at least 50 years to a time when raccoon fur was valuable. To protect the species, the state limited where raccoons could be trapped.”

According to a recent article that appeared in national Geographic, raccoons are a familiar sight just about everywhere because they will eat just about anything. These mammals are found in forests, marshes, prairies and in cities. They are adaptable and use their dexterous front paws and long fingers to find and feast on a wide variety of foods

In the natural world, raccoons get a lot of their meals from water sources. Primarily nocturnal foragers with lightning-quick paws they use to grab crayfish, frogs, and other aquatic creatures, are intelligent. On land, they pluck mice and insects from their burrows and raid nests for tasty eggs. Raccoons will also eat fruit and plants such as the kinds grown in human gardens and farms. They are notorious for opening garbage cans and feasting on the contents while making quite a racket.

Raccoons in the northern parts of their territory gorge themselves in spring and summer in order to store body fat. They spend much of the winter asleep in dens. There are six other species of raccoons, in addition to the familiar North American raccoon. Most other species live on tropical islands.

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