Archive for Alameda
www.latimes.com 13th November 2010
The small Californian island of Alameda, linked to the city of Oakland, is in the midst of a growing problem with a small portion of its residents. Since June this year there have been nine raccoon attacks on humans. The last victim, Campos de Ivanov, was walking her dog when a gang of five raccoons attacked her. Her dog managed to fend off four but the last latched itself onto her leg. She is now undergoing a series of painful jibs to protect herself against rabies. The population of Alameda currently stands at 70,000 on 10.8 square miles of land. However, the problem is likely to be caused by people. Large amounts of waste food are attracting raccoons into more urban areas. Also, it has been suggested that all the attacks have been instigated by the dogs being walked by the victims. Many of the people who were attacked tried to intervene in a fight between their dogs and raccoons. With their natural predators (mountain lions, coyotes, and great horned owls) scarce in Alameda, the raccoons only rivals are canines. Raccoons are known to drown dogs by luring them into swimming pools and drowning them, according to Gary Beeman, a Northern California wildlife biologist who owns a pest control company. Officials are uncertain as to how to deal with the problem. State law dictates that raccoons cannot be displaced more than a couple of miles away but they are allowed to be euthanised if the problem persists.