February 6th, 2009
05:50 PM ET
3 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. Pinckney

    Heck, they are smart critters. They would come to our camp site, take the tarp off the food, eat the bread and leave the crust and then put the tarp back. Maybe we could send some to Congress. We need smart critters there.

    February 6, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Rocky

    These are smart raccoons – they know when someone's trying to pawn off their recalled peanut butter on them!

    February 6, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Rick

    Only in Washington would this be a problem or newsworthy. Trap them, kill them and don't think twice about it.

    Has the press found a way to blame this on Bush yet?

    February 6, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Will be release into the "wild?"

    Do they have any "wild" on the East Coast?

    February 6, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. patsy whetsell

    they are in a hard time too so lets feed them and care for them.

    February 6, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. John

    Bait the trap with raw chicken skins and you will catch them in no time.

    February 6, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. H. Green

    They're searching for single payer national health insurance around the white house.

    February 6, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. derric

    PEANUT BUTTER for bait – that stuff is being recalled!!!! Where is PETA. If Bush used salmonella peanut butter it would be headlines.

    February 6, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. Mike S.

    They're too smart for most traps.

    February 6, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. ex-trapperman

    The raccoons are probably just being themselves. For one, if they're making themselves at home, THEY probably planned for them to be there. They're behaving like typical urban wildlife; they've found a place with few predators, good water, food, and shelter, and are being their resourceful selves. Racoons are awesome in their adaptability, and I love 'em, which is why I'm an EX trapperman. And FWIW, peanut butter maybe but apples no. Cheap canned cat food worked for me for years.

    February 6, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  11. Mike in MS

    Why does everything have to be about race? It is possible that raccoons decided to move into the white house.

    More and more of their land is being developed.

    February 6, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. lr

    how cuute! how funny!

    February 6, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. HaveTrappedThem

    Oh for heaven's sake. You use cantelope (cut up in small pieces) and grapes and some balogna. It rarely fails. It's flippin' freezing and they're hungry. It's the global warmin' dontcha know.

    February 6, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. Bill Ackerman

    They should try blueberry muffins. I've caught no less than 5 racoons with these muffins. Please forward on to the White House.

    February 6, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  15. Sid

    Let them alone. It's nice to know at least some type of intelligent creature frequents the WH......

    February 6, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. Keeth in California

    @ "Proud American" – if you were truly proud, you wouldn't bash "eco-friendly" people who are trying to make sure your children and grandchildren have clean air and water when they grow up. Stop talking trash and start picking it up.

    February 6, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. Jody Monroe

    Looks like those little critters are smarter than the humans in the White House... maybe they can offer some suggestions for getting our country out of this financial mess. After all, they have everything they need and appear to very content!

    February 6, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. 4Heavenssake

    Anybody ever seen a 300-lb. raccoon? Saw one (who'd apparently been feeding at a restaurant dumpster) when I was coming from voting. Fortunately he/she didn't see me. OMG! Serious fear.,,

    February 6, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. Rocky

    Get a "Havaheart". Oh God! Peanut butter as bait. What do you do with a pack of raccoons with salmonella? On further thought, maybe its a bunch of Republicans in costume looking for a handout.

    February 6, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. LaMont

    Sprinkle mothballs around the areas frequented by raccoons. After a few hours the smell won't be noticeable to humans, but animals will smell it.. It won't poison them, but will drive them away. I have had to do this to keep raccoons away from my koi pond. Given young children and an impending puppy, the raccoon problem should be dealt with as raccoons are known carriers of rabies. PS. I recommend a standard Parti-Poodle for a pet. They are the original poodle, allergy friendly, medium to large sized, long lived, few if any health problems, very intelligent, and a wonderful disposition. I have three standard poodles from Sisco's Distinctive Poodles. Best dogs I've ever had.

    February 6, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. Valerie

    This, if accurate, is a simple problem to fix. They love cat food and are quite easy to tame down. I cannot believe that Park Service folks are that clueless.

    February 6, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  22. Sophia

    Are you going to kill the little racoons? why dont you just put them in then wild ?

    February 6, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  23. jan

    These cute masked furries love vanilla sandwich cookies–any store brand will do–and absolutely place the cooikies next to a bowl of water–they like to "dunk".

    February 6, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. james

    No matter how hard you push the garbage can lid down they will still get in and rob you blind.

    February 6, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Brent

    The racoons know better than eat the peanut butter. They have been watching the news from the front lawn of the White House. The Parks Service need to get more creative in their catching endeavors.

    February 6, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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