Last weekend, there was a spot of drama amidst our re-opening for the season... a raccoon which was active during the daylight hours. When you see a raccoon walking around by daylight, it's typical to err on the side of "OMG, RABIES!!!!" Accordingly, on Friday afternoon, the Manager on Duty called the local gendarmes to report this potential hazard to the public health... to compound matters, a coyote recently attacked two children not too far from the site. I arrived on the job before the police arrived, and the raccoon was curled up on top of the sewer grate:
I stood in the vicinity for the rest of the afternoon and waved people away from the area until a police officer arrived. The village doesn't have a dedicated animal control officer, so there was no prospect of trapping the animal. The one time I had witnessed the putting down of a possibly rabid animal took place along the Bronx River Greenway, which falls under County Police jurisdiction- the county sent an officer with a tranquilizer gun, and they shot the raccoon with a dart with a lethal sedative dose. The procedure among the local police is to use a 9mm round loaded with shot, instead of a bullet, to kill an animal. After a brief discussion, we decided that it would be inappropriate to engage in any gunplay until after everyone but myself had cleared the property- it's not good to shoot when people and cars are in the parking lot, and I didn't want to subject nice tourists from France or Japan to see a particularly cute, and exotic, critter being executed, even if for the public good. Luckily, the raccoon climbed back down into the sewer, and I grabbed a couple of benches and used them to block off egress. The responding officer and I then made the plan to have him return after hours so we could deal with the beast.
At dusk, I unblocked the sewer grate and peered into the sewer... not exactly fun. After about twenty minutes, the creature emerged from the sewer and I called the non-emergency number of the police- they were on another call. By the time the original responding officer returned, the raccoon had gone back underground, so we weren't able to resolve the issue.
After the police officer left, I went to my office and texted my boss about the inability to resolve the issue, then sent out a memorandum to all of the MODs for the weekend, plus several other managers. As luck would have it, the raccoon never made an appearance on Saturday afternoon, so I am hoping that it expired in peace. Better yet, I hope it recovered, because, as much as the local raccoons are a pain in the ass, I'd be lying if I said I didn't like the suckers.