He’s faced his demons in rehab, stared down shirtless protesters, publicly battled police chief Bill Blair, and engaged in an ongoing slug-fest with Toronto’s local media. But nothing strikes fear in the heart of Mayor Rob Ford like hungry, brazen raccoons binging on his trash.
Saying he’s had some “run-ins” with the creatures, Ford admitted Monday that the city needs to address the burgeoning raccoon population.
“It’s a serious problem, it affects a lot of people,” he said during a media scrum at city hall.
“I’ve had some stand-offs with some raccoons and they just look at you, they’re not scared anymore.”
“Sometimes you open your blue bin and they jump out, it scares you when it’s pitch black. So we have a serious raccoon problem.”
The mayor vaguely said he’s “met with some people” to discuss the problem, but admits he doesn’t have a solution.
“It’s getting worse and worse,” he said. “They are getting braver and braver by the day. I’m not a big raccoon fan, I’ll tell you that straight up.”
“I’ve seen some sick raccoons, like really, really aggressive, if they are going after kids…attacking anybody…then yes, we have to find a way to control them.”
Ford said he’s heard from some residents who want the animals put down — a suggestion he wouldn’t endorse.
“I might have a problem with that, obviously,” he said.
The raccoon problem in his Etobicoke neigbhourhood has gotten so bad that Ford says he has to negotiate who takes the garbage out at his home.
“My wife won’t even go outside. We have to make deals who is going to put the garbage out at night.”
He has come up with a temporary solution, that he admits isn’t very effective.
“I try and bang on the bin before I open it,” he said to laughter from the congregated reporters. “It’s not funny, buddy.”