A screenshot of a video taken on the Citizen app.
Are local raccoons getting more brazen these days? Or are people just more attuned to their presence since an outbreak of canine distemper among Central Park raccoons?
Someone called 911 on a raccoon in a tree on Columbus Avenue near 71st Street on Sunday morning. The 911 called said the raccoon was “attacking passersby,” according to the Citizen app, which tracks emergency calls.
Police arrived around 9:30 a.m. and dozens of people gathered around to watch the drama, according to a shaky video posted on the app. One app user noted that “the suspect has lowered itself from the tree,” referring to the raccoon, who may not have known it was a “suspect” in anything. We’ve inquired with police but have no immediate information on what came of the raccoon.
Another onlooker, however, disputed the notion that the raccoon was acting aggressively. Kate Koza wrote to us that the raccoon “wasn’t attacking anyone. The woman who called was exaggerating beyond belief (I overheard the call and was there watching the raccoon for a good hour and a half). It was not exhibiting the behavior of distemper at all.” She posted the video below.
We also received the video below from Joeanna Saylor of a raccoon — likely the same one later called a “suspect” — at about the same location early Sunday morning.