NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — West Harlem residents say a posse of raccoons has taken over their neighborhoods and in some cases even broken into their homes.
“These things think they live here and they actually walk in if you leave an opening,” said resident Lauren Flanigan.
Pictures from residents showed a raccoon making itself comfortable on the patio of a West Harlem home, and even coming up to the door. And that raccoon was not alone, residents said.
“They came in the kitchen, and they’re not that friendly, and they also pushed the window screens in,” Flanigan told CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco.
“They climb over the fences to the next backyard and they keep going from backyard to backyard, so that’s why it’s not one homeowner’s problem. It’s everybody’s problem,” Maria Freeman said.
Residents complained that the raccoons wreak havoc in the streets daily, and believe they make the trek from Central Park. They want the city to do something because the problem is only getting worse.
“These raccoons don’t behave normally. They’re out during the day time when they should be sleeping. They are not afraid of humans. They’re aggressive,” Flanigan said.
Residents are now asking the city to step in and pay for a trap-and-release service to get rid of the raccoons before mating season starts in January.
In a statement the city said they are “staunchly committed to addressing all constituent requests from New Yorkers across the five boroughs, including animal related complaints and inquiries.”
Residents say help can’t come soon enough.
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