North Saanich neighbours want wildlife feeding bylaw as raccoon population booms

North Saanich neighbours want wildlife feeding bylaw as raccoon population booms
Residents of a North Saanich neighbourhood are appealing to council to develop a wildlife feeding bylaw as one of their neighbours admits she's been feeding raccoons dog food for decades

Even in daylight, about half a dozen raccoons can be seen scurrying around a North Saanich property, and they aren’t afraid of humans.

“So this is what we’re contending with raccoon excrement throughout our yard,” said Bryan Elliott, who lives in the Ardmore area.

“They are raiding our gardens, just destroying all the fruit on the trees,” he said.

And Elliott says their feces, which can contain a parasite dangerous to humans, is creating a health hazard.

While having a few raccoons around isn’t unusual, Elliott says in his neighbourhood the population is out of control

“It’s magnified to 33 it’s just exploded,” he said.

Elliott says part of the problem is that one of his neighbours has been feeding them dog food.

“They don’t mean to harm their neighbours but it has,” he said.

Olga du Temple admits she befriended a family of raccoons more than 30 years ago and started feeding them after a major snowstorm left them hungry.

“We just discovered they have their own personalities we can almost give their names, we knew exactly what time of day which one would be coming,” she said.

The 85-year-old says it has never been a problem until recently when another group of raccoons moved in and started to fight with the locals.

“They are now causing problems to the neighbourhood,” du Temple said.

She says her family stopped feeding them two months ago and have even bought raccoon deterrents but neighbours say it isn’t just her there are others in the area feeding wildlife and they want it all to stop.

Several people have written letters urging the District of North Saanich to develop a bylaw to prevent wildlife feeding something they have in the neighbouring municipality of Central Saanich. The delegation will appear before council at Monday’s council meeting. The mayor says council might consider it but he would prefer to take other steps first.

“What we want to probably is through education and informing through a newsletter and say listen if you feed wildlife it has some negative consequences,” said North Saanich Mayor Geoff Orr.

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!