I received some good ideas and suggestions from freinds that read this post.
Thank you all very much.
Our pond went from the total surface of the water being covered densely by Water Lilies:
Water Lilies torn to shreds leaving my Koi exposed. This Water Lily keeps it's leaves in the winter making it ideal to keep the fish safe and hidden....at least in the last 14 years it has.....
I placed flour all around the pond and dog food can as suggested by friends hoping to catch some footprints to let me know who/what I was dealing with.
All quiet for a few nights....
Then while watching Tv last night about 8pm we heard the Dog Food can lid hit the deck. We looked out and saw that indeed the lid was on the deck, but there was nothing in sight.
But we did find a wet footprint on one of the watering cans.
My Daring Daughter decided to investigate further. She got a flashlight and checked out the side of the house nearest the deck. Now this is the ugly section of my backyard...yes I DO have an ugly section!
It houses the cages left from past pet Rabbits and Iguana,
stores lumber, and a variety of other yard related items.
All of a sudden I heard a scream!
I went out to see what she found and saw this.....
see the glowing eyes?
How about now?
Of course, Macho Middle Son wanted to shoot him. What is it with males?
It isn't the raccoon's fault. The way they were building homes on farmland around here it's no wonder Mr Raccoon has to look elsewhere for food.
We watched Mr Rocky Raccoon as he finally left over the fence to visit the neighbor next door.
I decided to leave the lid off the Dog Food can so maybe he would leave my Koi alone.
We went back to watching Tv. During the next commercial Daring Daughter decided to look out the sliding door.
Lo and behold he was back..in the Dog Food can!
I grabbed the camera and by the time I got there he had left.
We opened the door and peeked out.
He was at the side of the house looking around the corner!
When he saw me, he slowly backed away.
I went out after him.
He again climbed up the cages and over to the neighbors.
We left the yard lights on thinking that woud deter him....HA!
He came back again!
Yes, he even smiled for the camera!
So amazing he wasn't even scared of my flash.
So we turned off the lights and left him to hopefully fill up on Dog Food, not fish.
Now, I realize my yard is certified as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat and I know about the Circle of Life but c'mon.
It was hard enough watching a Harris Hawk catch a Sparrow while eating at one of my feeders...but I love my Koi!
The darn things are so trusting. When the Dogs go into the pond to drink the Koi come right up to them. I often wonder if crumbs fall out of their mouths or something! LOL
So now the dilema.
What to do.
I intended on catching it in our Havahart Trap.
But seeing the size of this beauty, I'm having second thoughts.
After researching I've also found it is illegal in most states to catch and relocate unless you are licensed to do so.
I'm going to call County Animal Control on Monday and see what they say.
I'm hoping they have an answer...like they will come and trap it ;~)
There seem to be alot of remedies out there to ridding your yard of Raccoons.
From Motion Activated Sprinklers, to catching, to...and this is my fav....
Soaking Marshmellows on Unpasturized Brown Apple Juice and placing around the pond. Supposedly the Raccoon will pick up the Marshmellow and try to wash it in the pond. Once wet, the Marshmellow gets goopy, thereby getting his hands dirty and sticky. Since Raccoons don't like their hands dirty they associate dirty hands with the pond and stay away.
Now that I know what I'm dealing with, I wish I didn't.......
Hey, Mr. Stay Puft Marshmellow Man, where are you?!