A crane operator noticed the pair of raccoons while he was ascending the tower early Wed. The general contractor quickly called out the experts, who were unsuccessful at catching the pair. However, by the afternoon of Feb. 7, 2013 the couple had moved out of the home they had built behind the crane’s cab and the contractors were able to continue the work in Ballard Wash. Their cute and cuddly appearance can drive some people to trying to make them into pets or feed them in their yards which could be part of the reason that the raccoons were so brazen. The crane that the raccoon made a home out of is being used to build a 304-unit apartment complex near 24th and Market which is scheduled to open the summer of 2014.
The pair of raccoons had climbed up 150 feet on a tower crane in Ballard and made a home out of the crane’s cab which temporarily brought their work to a halt. They called in experts to remove the animals and they set out traps near and on the crane to try and catch the pair but they were not able to capture them to remove them. At one point during the crane invasion one of the raccoons ran out of the cab and onto the jib. John Kellberg, the project superintendent said “this is the first time I’ve seen a raccoon in a tower crane.”
Neighbors in the area say that large raccoons are a common in Ballard. Tanya Agha, from near by Western Fire and Safety, had experienced raccoons in the area before and said “it had me cornered in there for about three hours and I was too afraid to come out of there.” It’s not uncommon to find raccoons in out cities due to the abundant food sources found in our garbage, yards and gardens. Over time they have become used to humans and that is where the trouble begins because they become aggressive (knowing that we will react in fear).
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