Raccoons are the enemy, and green bins are the battlefield. At least, that’s how some Torontonians view an ongoing saga between themselves and the furry neighbours that so successfully live in Canada’s largest city.
Attitudes on raccoons in the Greater Toronto Area are split surprisingly evenly, but due to their problem-solving skills the sneaky fur-bearers do make it into the news and even political discussions regularly. And that’s when Dr. Suzanne MacDonald got involved.
Dr. MacDonald, a professor of psychology and biology at York University, helped the city test which new green bin designs would best prevent raccoons from enjoying a feast; and now, she’s trying to determine if the new bins will help the city’s raccoons shed a few pounds, and potentially have smaller litters.
On this week’s episode of Defender Radio, Dr. MacDonald joined us to discuss her fascinating hypotheses on raccoon learning and their potential evolution, as well as how she tests their problem-solving skills, and some practical advice on preventing conflict.