Animal Anecdote 38.
It seemed plausible that some wildlife such as raccoons and or skunks and or ‘possums were cleaning up any leftover pastries nightly left at our bird feeders. We had a tile surface patio outside the lower level of our split level home between Lake George and the house and I decided to throw enough light on it to spy on the food steeling in the night.
A local “day old” pastry store offered 5 boxes of their culinary delights for $1 and I bought 5 planning to use it to feed the mystery food stealers for 5 nights. It was great to see the jelly roll disappear in minutes into two medium size raccoons. The next night I put 3 offerings including a crumb cake and a dozen donuts and a strawberry pie.
It was barely dark when the previous night’s visitors came and decimated all the offerings and while they were working on the pie two more joined the group. I returned to the pastry shop and bought $3 dollars worth and that night put 5 offerings out and sat anxiously awaiting the arrival. In short order there were 8 raccoons including a mother and three of her young.
My curiosity got the best of me and I invested in $10 or 50 boxes of the goodies. Night after night the numbers of raccoons multiplied. After a couple of weeks I realized it did not matter how many boxes I put out in the evening it all would be gone in a couple of hours. Many would come out of the darkness, grab a donut and rush back into the darkness making counting difficult.
One evening I counted 60 of them feeding at one time. Of course we invited friends and neighbors in to see the feeding of the raccoons. I was reminded of many years ago when a friend and I drove an old car West during the summer of 1938 where we experienced the “feeding of the bears” in Yosemite National Park where over 300 bears came nightly for a repast.
Thinking what an amazing sight the Raccoons feeding were I contacted friends at the Yale University Peabody Museum only to be told that 2 years before they had fed raccoons in their yard and a short video about it was featured in one of the nature TV programs. Did you ever wonder how many raccoons you might attract with old worn out pastries? Don’t try it as your neighbors will raise cane with you for attracting so many varmints in town. 425
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