HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — Chester Frost Park is having to deal with aggressive raccoons. One wildlife rescue group is concerned with how the situation is being handled.
Sharon Mansell and her family like camping at Chester Frost Park.
“There is a lot of places to walk, a lot of beautiful things to see,” Mansell said.
She says there is one nuisance.
“That would be probably the raccoons and that is only because they are typically hungry,” Mansell said.
Tom Lamb, the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Directors, says they’ve received complaints about an over abundance of raccoons and an aggressive interactions with people.
After consulting with TWRA, they contact licensed animal control operators.
“They will humanely trap and remove the raccoons, the goal is to bring the total population down to a sustainable level for the park property and limit those dangerous interactions where you have aggressive raccoons or potentially disease ridden raccoons that may be encountering the campers in their campsites,” Lamb said.
Sometimes the animals will be euthanized.
“Once the animal control operator comes and traps the animal to remove it from this population, then he is also obligated to follow certain state law and that is where things become a little murky,” Lamb said.
Juniper Russo, the director of For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue says she is concerned about how the raccoon situation is being handled.
She says animals have the right to exist in wild spaces.
“If we take that away from them then they have literally nowhere left to go and I don’t think it is fair to, in one of the preserves that is meant to conserve Tennessee’s natural beauty, I don’t think it is fair for those places to be targeted for pest control,” Russo said.
Back at the campsite, people are enjoying their time at Chester Frost and advised not to feed raccoons, if they see them.