Renegade Raccoons Ravage Lakefront

About 120 raccoons have been trapped so far near three city harbors

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Tourists and residents along Chicago's lakefront may be walking among an unwanted visitor: raccoons.

    The Chicago Park District tells the Chicago Sun Times about 120 of the critters have been trapped so far between Belmont and Montrose harbors, as well as near the Jackson Park harbors.

    Complaints about the raccoons started last summer when boat owners said the animals were living under the docks, making a mess of their boats and being aggressive toward people.

    Park District officials say the animals are a common nuisance but never to this degree. A suburban company has been hired to trap and euthanize the animals. The money used to do this came from the harbor budget, which is funded from boat slip sales and concession receipts.

    According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, animal control officers and private firms in 2009 removed nearly 17,000 unruly raccoons in Cook County and the surrounding area.