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Foreclosures: Where the wild things are

Raccoons, bobcats and bears, oh my

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Besides the blight of foreclosed and vacant properties, Chicago is dealing with a squatter problem: "raccoons as big as orangutangs and bolder than ever before," the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper reported. The city received 6,000 foreclosure filings in the first two months of this year, the newspaper said, and the vacancies seem to have rendered the nocturnal creatures fearless. Resident Wilma Ward confronted what she said was a giant raccoon in her kitchen recently, and told the City Council's Health Committee about it, the paper said. "I looked down the hallway and I saw a set of eyes. They weren't low. I realized it was a raccoon because my neighbor had seen one around. There were two vacant buildings at the time across the back alley," Ward told the committee. She then barricaded herself in her bedroom until morning and found out that the raccoon had clawed past the screen and squeezed through the bars of an open window. It left corn ...