Wild Animals/prank or animal?

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Question
okay, my mother and i sleep with the window open. and last night we woke up to something that sounded exactly like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7YKuiggTK0 (note this is not my video, but exactly what we're hearing) Mom says it's a prank- we live in meriden, ct; people here do allot of stupid crap. the comments say it's a racoon fighting or a baby racoon calling for it's mother. and while that is a possible conclusion. i would like to know if it is or if it's something else like a opossum or a skunk or a fisher cat which or also around the area. thanks  for you time, take care.
-Feenie

Answer
Dear Feenie

Thanks for the question and link. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.

I've listened to the call and it does sound strange. I don't think it sounds like a fisher screaming (fishercatscreech.com/fisher-cat-sound-and-audio/‎); fishers are fairly uncommon in Connecticut (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mammals_of_Connecticut#Weasels_and_Otters_.) and I also don't think it's a prank. There seems to be a woodpecker in the recording. I tend to agree with the people who think it sounds like a raccoon. www.soundboard.com/sb/Raccoon_Sounds_audio gives a number of calls and you can check if any of those resemble the call you heard. www.junglewalk.com/sound/skunk-sounds.htm gives recordings of skunk sounds, while http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/Plants_Wildlife/Opossum.asp says that opossums make few sounds. They may hiss or make a slight growl if they feel threatened or during fights in the mating season. Females make a clicking noise to their young and if young are separated from their mother they may make a slight “choo choo” call or a sneezing noise. None of these sound like the sound on the website you sent.

Please listen to the various sounds and see which is nearest to the sound you heard.

All the best

Jonathan  

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Jonathan Wright

Expertise

I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.

Experience

I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

Organizations
WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Publications
Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

Education/Credentials
BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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