Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Recent Arrivals

First there were mice and rats...brought to the island centuries ago as stowaways on sailing ships. I don't know how nutria got here, but I see them every once in a while. Then, sometime within the last 40 years, someone released a pair of minks. Next it was squirrels. What were these people thinking?

Deer are another recent arrival. They probably swam over here from Hatteras. I have seen two, just north of the NPS campground, and tracks are fairly common "down below" (anywhere north of the village).

Five years ago Gene Ballance sent me this photo of a raccoon foraging on his back porch. It was the first I had heard of raccoons on Ocracoke.

Just last week Frankie Garrish told me he startled two raccoons who were feeding in the cat dishes in Cousin Blanche's yard.

There have been raccoons on Portsmouth Island for many years. I suppose a couple of them were washed over to Ocracoke during a storm. It is probably impossible, now, to get rid of them.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is Part II of Crystal Canterbury's account of her first visit to Portsmouth Island. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news052115.htm.


  1. Anonymous7:18 AM

    Trapping them and then releasing back onto Portsmouth or Hatteras....not impossible, just very time consuming.

  2. Anonymous7:34 AM

    I'm guessing that makes us "dingbatters" seem not so bad. Well, some of us anyway!

  3. Debbie Leonard9:21 AM

    I'm guessing that they likely came to the island in a dumpster. While camping in Florida State Parks I frequently witnessed raccoons climbing in and out of the trash dumpsters and even saw them falling from the dumpsters as they were emptied.

  4. Great article. I'll definitely have to share with my kids. We've not been to Ocracoke since 2012. Perhaps we can get there again in a few more years.

  5. Anonymous3:37 PM

    I have possums in my yard here in rocky mount....now I know where to take them after I trap a 1/2 doz or do....thanks for the heads up.

  6. Anonymous4:53 PM

    I visit ocracoke year round, the varmin really start to arrive on the island about mid may thru mid sept. They are not native to the island and left unchecked they will try to take over. They are here and it's too late to get rid of them for good. You can trap and release them on the mainland but they will still come back. (like me)

    1. Debbie Leonard8:40 AM


  7. Anonymous11:57 PM

    You need a 'coon cam. These critters will be your ticket to a popular internet tv show. The popularity will grow and a merchandise empire will ensure. Embrace the raccoon or trap them and dye their fur purple or blue for added pizazz.

  8. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Seems like throughout it's history Ocracoke has been a home to strays, some good, some not so.

  9. Anonymous8:40 PM

    Dealt with the issue already. In NC since raccoons are known carriers of Rabies you can trap them with a permit but can not relocate them.