Saturday, May 03, 2008

Raccoon Coprology

I don't have dogs so I don't have to go around the yard and pick up their crap. Turns out there are other animals in the animal kingdom that defecate. (Everybody poops.) These photos document what appears to be raccoon scat all around the yard out back. The raccoon scat is just another sign, besides paw prints and sightings (1,2) that we have a very active raccoon population in the area.

I imagine myself as an 19th century natural philosopher trying to tease out the workings of science with these photographs of nature rather than a man taking pictures of raccoon scat. I encourage you to think similarly.

The problem with raccoon scat is that it can sometimes contain the roundworm parasite, Baylisascaris procyonis, which can invade the brain and eye in humans coming in contact with it, causing severe disease and death. Of course they were only 23 cases in 2003 so it is an exceedingly rare thing.

I suppose I will carefully clean it up and dispose of it. In order to rid myself of the problem I would have to sterilize my entire back yard, fill in the creek, and kill every raccoon. I think that I won't be doing that.

Too bad, If it was fossilized I could get $1000 a pop (or is that a poop) for it.

Any raccoon specialists or animal tracking specialists want to conform my suspicions on this and make recommendations?

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