Last week news surfaced that several raccoons had been seen repeatedly in areas around the White House grounds. Humane traps have been set to capture them, and if caught, the fuzzy-looking bandits will be released in a forested area by the National Park Service.
Forget the need for economic stimulus, Barack, can you come up with a better plan for the raccoons? The Obama family is always looking for opportunities to put action behind their beliefs, so would it be better for them to send out a pro-wildlife message by letting the raccoons stay?
As someone who is fascinated by urban wildlife, I think this is an issue that merits thought, if in the end, “staying the course” with the current plan is the best option. The presence of wildlife in cities is becoming more common than a lot of people realize, mostly because of habitat loss. Certain animals like raccoons, possums, foxes, and deer are adapting successfully though to urban life. Of course, many of us know that when we move it can be nice to get some help during the transition.
For this reason, the Obamas would serve themselves well by checking out this article about 3 unique ways they can help protect urban wildlife. For instance, they could make the White House grounds an official urban wildlife sanctuary, give the White House a “green roof,” or have Sasha and Malia Obama become citizen scientists by studying the lives of the raccoons.
In the end, the White House might be a dangerous and stressful place for the raccoons to live, given the foot and car traffic around the area (not to mention the headaches associated with thinking about economic stimulus packages and international diplomacy). The Obamas could definitely seize the moment though to bring some fun, light awareness to the challenges many animals now face as city dwellers.
Photo Credit: Public photo courtesy of Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site/National Park Service