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Wild raccoons "becoming a problem" in Port Arthur - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Wild raccoons "becoming a problem" in Port Arthur

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PORT ARTHUR -

Port Arthur Animal Control Supervisor Anthony Mitchell says he and his team have nabbed at least 15 wild raccoons over the past month, an influx Mitchell says he's never seen in his 13 years on the job.

"Lately they're really becoming a problem," Mitchell said Wednesday afternoon. "We're talking about little packs of 'em, mommas with babies."

They're catching the critters in dumpsters, in traps set up throughout the city, and in attics in people's homes. Six baby racoons were found in the living room of a home on 3rd street about a week ago, much to the surprise of the homeowners.
     
"They were freaked out," said Mitchell.  "Some of these people don't even want to go back in their home, fearing there's more there."

If you happen to find any raccoons in your home, Mitchell says stay away from them because they are high risk rabies carriers.

Nobody's been bitten so there's been no need for rabies testing on the raccoons caught so far. Mitchell believes he knows where they're all coming from.

"A lot of areas are being cleared out to open businesses and apartment complexes... so a lot of these 'coons are just kind of moving into residences because they have nowhere to go,"he said.

For now the raccoons are being released outside city residential areas, where Mitchell hopes they'll stay and flourish.

If the problem gets worse, Mitchell says they may have to start euthanizing the animals.

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