Wild for Notre Dame! Irish Raccoons


02.06.2006 - Cheer cheer for old Notre Dame, Baby raccoons are relatively tame, Thus you can stick a hat on their head, Charlie will quit and they'll be coach instead.  What though the coons be great or small, Into your attic they always crawl, While your loyal wildlife trapper dresses them for victory.

Yes, these little fellows are now Notre Dame fans.  I showed them the Notre Dame - Pittsburgh game, and raccoons are a natural enemy of panthers, so they decided to side with the Irish.  One of them scampered up my pant leg and stole my ND hat and put it on his head, while the other raccoon stood in proud support of the men in gold and blue.  They now faithfully cheer on the Irish by my side each week, and they are great fans, although they do tend to poop on the floor when Clausen throws another interception.

Raccoon Facts: The raccoon (Procyon lotor), is a unique animal native to South Bend, Indiana. It's not closely related to any other animals, with distant relatives such as bears and leprachauns. Coons are easy to recognize, with a black mask, ringed tail, and shamrock tattoo on their right shoulder. Raccoons tend to weigh between 10-20 pounds as adults, though raccoons named Charlie weigh at least twice that.. They are mostly nocturnal except during day games, and are omnivores. Raccoons average a lifespan of about 5 years in the wild, and have a litter of 3-6 young each spring, which they fully expect to attend du lac when they reach 18 months. They are very strong, excellent climbers, very intelligent, and they are very skilled with their hands, having been known to swing a shillelagh with one hand and a beer with the left . Raccoons have learned to thrive in urban areas, and live in very high densities in cities and college campuses, where they eat garbage from south dining hall and drink from Stonehenge Fountain. They commonly break into homes and attics of dorm rooms, where they cause considerable damage, and they also destroy other property such as Grotto flowers, and thus raccoons are considered pest animals by many domers.  However, most folk consider them just plain too cute, and are lobbying to make them the new official mascots  - the Notre Dame fighting raccoons.

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Alas, raccoons have sided with the Fighting Irish, and it's no surprise. These burglar-eyed mammals are always ready to put up a fight. The Irish should be proud and so should Notre Dame—they just gained a hoard of supporting fans.

What Do Raccoons Look Like?
These rambunctious mammals are pretty stocky with striped fur and short legs. They can range between 10 to 35 pounds, depending on how much beer they drink at the game, and get up to 30 inches long. Their most defining feature is the black mask covering their eyes, so they're always painted and ready to steal.

What Do Raccoons Do?
Raccoons are nocturnal and stay active year-round. They're pretty smart, too, so don't piss one off or they'll devise a way to come after you. They live in dens that can either be in something like a hollow tree or a corner of your attic. They're not picky when it comes to their living quarters, as long as they can watch Notre Dame play on Sundays.

They eat just about anything (sound like someone you know?) and love getting their hands dirty in your garbage cans or garden. Digging, clawing, and rummaging through anything and everything to find that last delicious potato chip.

Damage Caused by Raccoons
Seriously, don't piss one off and stay away from them on game day. They'll destroy your gardens and rudely leave your trash cans scattered around the yard. They even rip off shingles from your roof to get inside (what did I say about devising a plan).

They are protective animals, especially when young Irish supporters are following closely behind. Stay away if you see these little families wandering around because you never know if they'll decide to chase you down, clawing and biting their way to victory.

What to Do About Raccoons?
Make sure your trash cans are closed completely and placed inside of your garage or shed to stay out of a raccoon's sight. It's also a good way to keep up with household chores and maintenance. Don't leave pet food outside, otherwise, it's basically an invitation for raccoons to come in every day and party.

Raccoons are interesting mammals, and we all love those black masks. But seriously, stay away. Even if you're a Fighting Irish fan, too.

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