Philadelphia stymied by growing raccoon problem

A Philadelphia City Council committee has approved new legislation to handle a raccoon problem that is growing is some neighborhoods.

The Public Health and Human Services committee approved a bill mandating the humane removal of problem raccoons.

Jacqueline Johnson of North Philadelphia says the raccoons are crawling up her walls through an abandoned property next door.

“I called the cops. I didn’t know whether somebody was stripping the house or not,” she said. “This is how vicious these things were, coming through the wall.  It doesn’t seem to be of a concern to anyone unless they wake up with a furry pillow next to them.”

Deputy Managing Director Brian Abernathy said the raccoons can’t be trapped, but Councilman Jim Kenney wants them relocated.

“If you look at the raccoons in the neighborhoods that have the most, if we dropped them off in Fairmount Park they would come back,” he said.

“Could we take them further out? Could we take them to Berks County, where they would get lost and not be able to find their way back,” Kenney asked.

Abernathy said the state–not the city–has the legal right to remove the raccoons, so the administration won’t carry out council’s wishes.

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