A Gay Bower Road resident lifted the tarp off his race car on Monday morning and found extensive damage, including ripped up seats and animal feces in one corner of the interior. The guilty party was still in the car.
Monroe Animal Control Officer Ed Risko said a raccoon, who made the window-less race car a den site this winter, was hiding against the passenger side door. (See the photo)
Risko believes the animal climbed up a snowbank and underneath the tarp before entering the car through the open trunk.
The raccoon tore up the seats to make bedding and used one corner of the vehicle as a latrine, Risko said, adding that raccoons consistently use one area to go to the bathroom just like cats use litter boxes — keeping it a good distance from it's nesting space.
Risko said a recommendation was made to the owner that he eliminate the den site by keeping the tarp off the car and letting light shine in. This would make the raccoon uncomfortable and it would leave on its own.
He could also hire a nuisance wildlife control operator to trap and remove the raccoon, then clean up the latrine and seal up the car's entry points, according to Risko.
The raccoon was removed before this report.
Risko said it is common for raccoons to climb under the tarps of cars and boats in people's driveways to make den sites in the winter, adding this is the time of year when people begin to pull the tarps up.