Scientists spend years in college, learning, writing, trying to make a name out of themselves. At a certain point, they are given the opportunity to conduct a research that will change the face of science as we understand it today. That is why a team of researchers spent months scaring raccoons for science’s sake.
Of course, there was a point to all that fuss. The scientists involved in the experiment weren’t raccoon haters or noise enthusiasts for that matter.
The experiment was proposed after the British Columbia area was greatly affected by the raccoon population. And it wasn’t just the garbage spread around by the fluffy trash pandas.
Due to a lack of predatory species like the bear or the cougar who were relocated in order to maintain the town’s population safe, the raccoons started to act like they own the place.
Researchers found that the crab and songbird numbers were starting to seriously decrease. Nature’s fluffy robbers stopped being cute and started to behave ruthlessly, like a couple of college frat boys that leave their beer glasses lying around after a party.
The scientists that studied the wild surroundings of British Columbia starts to find half-eaten crabs, songbirds, and worms.
Because there wasn’t any predator around to put the fear of natural order into them, the raccoons started to act like humans do. They hunted more than they could possibly eat and affected the overall population of a handful of species.
Because predators cannot be reintroduced in an area without extensive research, the scientists came up with the idea of making the trash pandas believe that they are in danger.
And that is how researchers spent months scaring raccoons for science’s sake.
In order to see how the masked mammals react in different situations, the scientists involved in the study used an alternation of peaceful sounds with the recordings of a violent dog barking.
Basically, they constructed a sound-based scarecrow that kept the raccoons at bay. After a few months of fun (for the researchers, because the raccoons were still hyperventilating), the scientists discovered that fear made the masked fluffy robbers behave more in accordance with their place in the natural order. This means that they stopped wreaking havoc.
After the research was over, the overall population of crabs, songbirds and worms managed to bounce back. The raccoons only hunted and killed what they needed in order to survive and peace was restored in a chaotic world.
Researchers spent months scaring raccoons for science’s sake and because, similarly to the fluffy mammals in question, humans took over territories that were not theirs and greatly affected the native population.
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