A family of raccoons trapped inside an empty Bay Ridge building has become something of a cause celebre in the neighborhood.
Community members banded together on Tuesday, July 22 to help the furry prisoners, subjected to stifling heat inside an unoccupied building off the corner of Fourth Avenue and 93rd Street next to the Metropolitan Supermarket.
After a passerby phoned in an anonymous tip to this newspaper around 3 p.m., we went to check out the raccoon sighting.
“The raccoons were jumping at the window,” a source said. “It’s a vacant building and there’s a family of I don’t know how many raccoons. The mother was trying to escape. It’s got to be 120 degrees in the building.”
The police were on the scene on Tuesday morning, but were unable to gain access to the building, so they placed a black garbage bag over the front door to prevent people from scaring the trapped raccoons, a source said.
Frankie Generoso, who works at the pet shop next door, was supervising the building’s stoop to make sure that no one would tamper with the protective garbage bag.
“I feel bad for the raccoons,” Generoso said. “Control your building, come check it, see what’s going on. We like the neighborhood to be clean.”
In an effort to reach out to the building’s owner to ask about the raccoons, this paper called a number posted on the building for rental inquiries. The woman who answered the phone said that she had already received a phone call about the raccoons and claimed that she had just found out about them.
“No one told us until today,” the woman who answered the phone said. “How could we have known if we don’t live in Brooklyn and no one told us? We’re trying our best in a very stressful situation. As soon as we found out, we sent someone to help get the raccoons out.”
The building’s owner told an Animal Care & Control (AC&C) driver that a trapper had been hired to remove the raccoons, according to AC&C.
Following up on Wednesday, July 22, this paper noticed that the inside of the building had been cleared up. Asked about the raccoons’ status, another man working in the pet shop said that the pet shop was pitching in and lending the raccoon trappers cages to help get the raccoons to safety.
As of this writing, according to reports, two of the raccoons had escaped and the trappers were still working to rescue the remaining critters.