Believe it or not, the myth that Calgary is raccoon-free is exactly that — a myth.
Many also believe the “trash pandas” are segregated to certain spots in the city, but new picture proof from city wildlife cameras shows they are in parks in all parts of Calgary.
“What we’ve concluded is they’re everywhere in the city,” City of Calgary urban conservation lead Chris Manderson said.
“They are pretty strictly nocturnal, they’ve only shown up in night photos and they’re not really high populations — we’re not talking Vancouver or Toronto populations… yet.”
Wildlife specialist Ken Cheek owns Calgary Humane Wildlife Control. He says he gets about a handful of raccoon calls a year and that number has stayed steady over the past decade.
Cheek’s biggest concern is Calgary’s new compost bins and what happens when raccoons discover that free jackpot of food.
“I think we may see problems with these new compost bins because they can easily knock them over and feast,” he said.
The City of Calgary says that hasn’t been a problem so far, but is aware there are raccoons in the city. However, right now it appears they are sticking to their forested homes.
There is no mitigation plan to try and stop the raccoon population from growing but wildlife cameras are helping understand their every move.
“Having an early indication of where they are and how they’re using our landscape is useful and helps us maybe plans for the future when they may or may not become more common,” Manderson said.