February 6th, 2009
05:50 PM ET
8 years ago

When raccoons attack

One large raccoon and several smaller ones have invaded the White House grounds.

One large raccoon and several smaller ones have invaded the White House grounds.

(CNN) - In the ongoing battle between a pack of particularly ambitious raccoons and the White House groundskeepers, the raccoons appear to be winning.

According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, no raccoons have been caught on the White House grounds since the band of intruders were first spotted roaming the premises earlier this month.

The National Parks service set up several traps around the White House lawn earlier this week after determining one large raccoon and several smaller ones were causing trouble around the West Wing and the Executive Mansion.

If and when the raccoons are caught they will be released into the wild, the National Park Service has said.

But the traps, which include peanut butter and apples as bait, have yet to allure any of the pesky mammals.

"No raccoons that I know of have been caught or disbursed into other places in Washington," said Gibbs.

The White House press secretary also said he would be of little use in the hunt: "There are a few that roam in my backyard, so I don't have any particular tips."

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. A in L.A.

    deb in az – you're spot on. Here in Los Angeles, an opossum was found with a 9mm bullet wound to the head. Authorities took him to a vet and $9000 later, they saved him. That's a lot of money for a giant rat.

    I think these racoons are just executives dressed up like little robbers trying to steal some of that bail out money. Maybe they should bait the traps with hundred dollar bills. If they happen to catch some of these greedy executives by accident, then disperse them into the wild as well.

    February 6, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  2. Jeff in Hampshire

    Al, you're a hateful racist jerk.

    February 6, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. vic

    I have wolves in my backyard – and when in Colorado I had mountain lions.

    February 6, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  4. Richard Preston

    If you can't catch a racoon in a havahart you are totally incompetant – I caught 11 at my house in a month. Wear thick leather gloves when you release them but they usuallly run like hell. You should release them in a wild area and resist the temptation to release then in the back yard of your least favorite politician. Maybe that's why there are so many at the Whitw House.

    February 6, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. Sue

    We used pieces of apple and segments of oranges to catch 8 this summer. Wouldn't have bothered except that they wouldn't leave the pepper plants alone (most years they try a few peppers and decide they're too hot but this year they must have been short of food) and were breaking plants, chewing plant pots, leaving paw prints on window screens, and happy to walk past us, 4 ft away, in broad daylight. They were also dancing on the roof at night (that's how it sounded). They had to go.

    February 6, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. CaliJoe

    Raccoons are pests, they need to be eliminated. Try tuna from a can, it worked for my raccoon problem. Then blast 'em!

    February 6, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    The ignorance of the people who think this has racial undertone astonishes me. Have we really gotten to the point where everything is about race? What has driven us to believe that everything has to be this way? Organizations such as the ACLU and the NAACP have made EVERYTHING about race. It is time to stop letting everything be about race and start letting it be based solely on the merits of the man. If the blacks want to have pride in their heritage, let them. On the same token, if the whites want to have pride in their heritage, let them, also, without calling them racists. If pride in your heritage makes you a racist, then we are all, indeed, racists. Get over yourselves and live life in a manner that contributes to the cohesion of America, not the destruction of it.

    February 6, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  8. Alan

    This too funny.

    February 6, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. Texas Teacher

    Al February 6th, 2009 4:51 pm ET
    Try fried chicken and watermelon in the traps? Really? Al, your white sheet and cone hat are showing! You and the rest of your red neck republicans need to get a grip on reality! You lost... and nothing you can do is going to change that! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I can't stop laughing! *LOL*

    February 6, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  10. Margaret

    Just call Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball coach, if you want to get rid of the racoons! She saved her beloved daog from a racoon and hurt her arm in doing so!!!

    February 6, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  11. michea

    I wouldn't let me guard down with this. It could be a decoy now for something bigger later. Security don't get relaxed and believe a raccoons can't be rigged. Think I'm watching too many movies. Remember the rats in "Wanted".

    February 6, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  12. Peter

    lol seems like a metaphor to me and a good one!

    February 6, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  13. S Callahan

    lol You know President Obama must be doing something right now that the 'teeth' are roaming aroud.....

    Get those things out of there...

    February 6, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  14. Mike

    Once they get that dog, everything will be cleared up. My dogs snack on racoons. mmmm..tasty.

    February 6, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  15. Melody Chapin

    I love raccoons. They are sooo cute. I especially love to see them when they have baby raccoons. The White House is fortunate to have them around. Just leave them alone and they will leave people alone-well unless there is garbage cans around then they are fun to watch as they try to get the tops off.

    February 6, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  16. Vera

    Raccoons carry rabies but don't get it, so they need to be relocated. Maybe they haven't been successful because they are trying to "disburse" them (like money) instead of to "disperse" them (as in crowds).

    February 6, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  17. BL


    Nice racist comment. What could be used to lure you into a trap?
    Perhaps PBR and Moon pies? If that doesn't work maybe your 12 year old cousin is available.
    Still like stereotypes?

    February 6, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  18. C W

    I think we should put Rush and some racoons in a cage and see who comes out the winner. I'm putting my money on the racoons! (They love gargabe, you know .... they'd eat Rush ALIVE!)

    February 6, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  19. Joe the Troll

    Maybe if you waterboard a squirrel he'll tell you where the raccoons are.....

    February 6, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  20. Roberta

    Uh Jon? What word, exactly, would you like someone to use to describe a racoon? Do you want the author to say "black & grey furred scavenging American"? If you see anything racist in this article you have problems my friend. Good luck in catching and these furry little tricksters and releasing them into the wild. I understand it can be quite difficult.

    February 6, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  21. Roberta

    One more thing, peanutbutter is not poison. If you've been keeping up on the tainted peanut product articles you should have seen the one that said peanutbutter was not affected. It's the peanuts in candybars and other food items.

    February 6, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  22. Rob

    What, they're trying to poison those poor little bandits with Peanut Butter !?

    February 6, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  23. John G

    Kind of reminds me of the mouse in the bomb shelter....

    February 6, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  24. Steve

    It could be worse. It could be opossums. Opossums are NASTY.

    Oh, and to the people complaining about CNN breaking up the serious stuff with a little levity: lighten up.

    February 6, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  25. knowlege

    good, i hope they get samonelia poison in them and drop dead!

    February 6, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
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