They are back.
Twenty potentially rabid raccoons have been captured in the Riviera townhome complex in Palos Hills this summer according to officials from the Riviera in Palos Improvement Association Animal Control Committee.
They said that raccoons have been spotted in the subdivision off of 85th Avenue. and 111th Street and residents have been reportedly having a problem with the number of raccoons in the area.
RIPIA manager, Karen Ferguson said Friday she is not sure whether or not the raccoons are rabid but the number of raccoon sightings in the area has since subsided.
The raccoon problem was touched on during Thursday’s council meeting.
“I, myself, was not aware of the trapping of raccoons taking place this summer in the Riviera,” Public Works Director Dave Weakley said. “However, I am aware of raccoon complaints, over the years, in that particular area of Palos Hills.”
In 2010, Palos Hills made national news when CBS2Chicago.com had a piece on Kathleen Woods, who said that three large raccoons knocked her down and bit her on the legs, hand and buttocks. She lived in the complex at the time of the attack.
She said the raccoons weighed an estimated 35 pounds each and they emerged from a storm drain. She said her dog was bitten during the attack.
That report was picked up by other websites including Xenophilia.com, which says it reports on “true strange stuff” and Unexplained-mysteries.com.
As for this year’s problems, RIPIA began raccoon reduction the first week of July. The traps were placed near trash areas and on the sides of the townhome buildings, where raccoons have been spotted by residents.
RIPIA officials said all of the cages are checked daily by a technician, and any trapped raccoons are removed and taken immediately to animal control.
Raccoons are wild animals and known for carrying diseases, and RIPIA officials said residents living in the Riviera subdivision should not move or handle the cages.
During the trapping period, residents were encouraged to keep all children and pets away from the cages. Feeding or placing water inside of the cages for the animals is forbidden as this contact could cause stress on the animals. Residents should also not feed any animals outside during this time because the uneaten food will attract more wildlife to the area.
Time outdoors for pets should be limited and monitored and all house cats also need to be kept indoors during the trapping period for their safety and protection.
RIPIA urges residents to keep away from any spotted raccoons and to especially retain children and house pets away at a safe distance. These animals are not to be treated as pets.