Nature Foundation: Be on the lookout for rabid raccoons

POSTED: 01/4/12 12:01 PM

St. Maarten – Overturned garbage containers, raided fruit trees and the presence of raccoons on the island have at least one environmental organization on the alert to stem any threat of the rabies virus. Tadzio Bervoet of the St. Maarten Nature Foundation said they’re very much interested in capturing these animals and doing blood tests because raccoons act as incubators for the rabies virus.

There have been several reports of raccoon sightings in Pointe Blanche and Guana Bay for the last six months. Raccoons are indigenous to North America and the foundation believes that the critters may have been brought here through shipping activity. Though generally nocturnal creatures, raccoons are known to take advantage of food sources available in the day.

According to the University of California’s Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, raccoons are “stocky mammals about 2 to 3 feet long and weighs 10 to 30 pounds. It is distinctively marked with a black “mask” over the eyes and is heavily furred with alternating light and dark rings around its tail”.

In an effort to raise awareness the foundation has posted information on raccoons on its Facebook page and is working with other agencies to set traps and catch the raccoons. In worst case scenarios the raccoons are euthanized. Whether or not they pose a significant threat to public health is the greatest factor in the decision making process.

The information and the removal campaign the foundation is running is due to their concern that curious people and domestic animals that are not familiar with raccoons may be lured in and bitten. Raccoons can be quite aggressive and have the ability to kill small pets.

Any sightings of raccoons can be reported to the St.Maarten Nature Foundation on 544-4267 or 527-0490.

Did you like this? Share it:
Nature Foundation: Be on the lookout for rabid raccoons by

Comments are closed.