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Resident says raccoons poisoned on north Key

MELISSA REID
Associate Publisher
mreid@lbknews.com

One missing raccoon would not cause anyone to notice, but a resident on the north end of Longboat Key says many raccoons are missing and has caused police to investigate.

Resident Thomas Mayers says that the number of raccoons on the north end of the key has diminished significantly and he suspects foul play.

“There was once a sign at the north and the south end of Longboat Key that said ‘Wildlife Sanctuary.’ That sanctuary has been disturbed at the north end of the island by the base of the bridge. Someone or some people have spread a poison into the environment. It is probably a rat poison that you can buy over the counter at stores. It has killed all of the raccoons here over the past week,” wrote Mayers to the police department.

Mayers suspects that it has been done over past years in an effort to control the raccoon population.

Mayers continued, “This action should be wrong in so many ways that the Town of Longboat Key should be interested in investigating who did this and why. If the people who did this have broken the law they should be prosecuted. The Police and Rescue departments should be on alert because pet dogs and cats can eat the poison. If the Town of Longboat Key and the police and rescue do not see any problem with this action then they should publicly say so. This poison also can be possibly eaten by small children and they can die from it.”

Mayers  also asserts that there is the smell of dead animals in the air and no animal noises.

According to Police Chief Pete Cumming who was one of the recipients of the email, an officer was sent out to Mayers’ home on the north end to investigate the situation. Cumming says that Mayers had no evidence of poisoning.

“Tom Mayers is saying he didn’t see any evidence of poisoning. We’ve investigated and we’ve found no evidence of poisoning. Our officer went out to the area and there are no carcasses and no evidence to support it,” said Cumming.

Longboat Key News asked Mayers if the deaths of raccoons could be from a virus or some other disease spread among the raccoons. Mayers asserts this does not seem like a virus and that a week ago, dead and sick raccoons started showing up daily and that there were dead animal smells around the Longboat Pass Bridge.

“I have seen viruses and this did not seem like any virus but a poisoning event. So, the rabbits, coons (raccoons), rats, squirrels, birds of all types would be affected by this broadcasting of poison. The same thing happened 5-10 years ago around Hideaway Bay and Penfield Street. You may remember that a ladies dog ate some of the poison when they were out walking. They said that someone was throwing rat bait out the windows of their car into vacant lots in order to kill raccoons. The dog died after three days at the vets. At the time they covered it up and everybody went about their business and forgot about it. It is illegal to broadcast rat poison into wildlife areas. If that possibility is not a public risk issue I don’t know what kind of island you want to live on. We have had about 5 dead coons show up here in the last week and you can smell more in the area. That does not consider the birds that could be eating the same grain based poison. I asked the Wildlife Inc. and they said that it sounded like a poisoning event,” wrote Mayers to Longboat Key News.

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