Rash of raccoons outside convenience store prompts warning from city

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

BRAZORIA COUNTY, Texas - The city of Richwood in Brazoria County may be small, but it's become one giant tourist trap. Packs of furry, seemingly sweet raccoons are the stars of the show.

"People come out here. They take pictures. They bring their little kids," said Lisa.

Dozens of raccoons invaded the neighborhood Stop & Save convenience store and have never left. They began taking up residence in the woods behind the store years ago ever since customers started feeding them.

"I fed them once and a while but I watch what I'm doing. They do come running at you," said Felicia Sharpe.

The city hopes the feeding frenzy is about to end. The animals are not as tame as they appear to be.

A 17-year-old Angleton girl was recently bitten on the finger after she opened her hand to show a raccoon she didn't have anything. Since it's not against the law to feed the animals, all the city can do is raise awareness.

"What we've decided to do for the time being is we've put up signs to remind people that these are wild animals and it's dangerous to feed them," said city manager Glenn Patton.

The signs seem to be working. One resident told Local 2 the signs wouldn't be necessary if people used their common sense.

"I'm not going to stick my hand and try to rub it's teeth or something, but if somebody wants to throw a little bag of popcorn what's that going to bother?" Lisa said.

City officials say the bite wasn't serious. The teenage girl started a series of rabies shots as a precaution but was recently told to stop them since there's no evidence of rabies in any of the raccoons in the area.

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