Raccoons cute but potentially dangerous

<I>KEVIN HEIMBIGNER photo</I><BR>A hungry and opportunistic raccoon awaits his chance to raid the catfood dish at a Peninsula residence.

Raccoons are cute, cuddly looking and curious. They are also extremely pesky and even dangerous if tempted to believe your home is a source of food.

The raccoon pictured tried three times to run the gauntlet to a Klipsan Beach home's cat food carelessly left unattended. Eventually the critter defied thrown rocks and shouts to move into the front yard and devour the copious quantity of cat food despite a frontal attack on its advances in broad daylight.

A family in Surfside fed a family of raccoons religiously during the summer and fall months last year, often admiring their many interesting traits. When late fall rolled around they re-located to Arizona as they have done for the past several years.

Soon a care-taking neighbor called to inform the benevolent home owners that their raccoon "pets" had torn apart the screen door and the screens on the kitchen windows in an apparent search for food.

A Naselle resident had one of the critters take up residence beneath his porch. Not wanting to destroy the animal, he had Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials trap the animal and take it several miles away.

He was shocked when the same raccoon had again set up shop snugly beneath the very same porch when he returned from work.

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