Chicago Wildlife Watch Talk

What to do about this?

  • kbs666 by kbs666

    Clearly something is in the picture but there isn't enough detail to identify. I think it is likely a raccoon or a canid but who knows for sure?


  • nancybohrer by nancybohrer

    I think it's a domestic cat, as if it were an opossum, there would be some black tipping on the fur, and not look so sleek.


  • ForestPreserve by ForestPreserve moderator

    The hunched back and the faint suggestion of striping to the fur make this likely to be a raccoon.

    With these tough cases, after classifying, you can sometimes find a "nearby" image that clears up the mystery. It's too late to change your vote, but it may help you identify the next furry lump.

    For example, this image has id ACH000czjq, and its talk page is at

    If you change the last character of the talk page address, you get a "nearby" image, which often comes from the same camera location. So the "next" image for this one is ACH000czjr, which is a nice selfie, but a little overexposed. ACH000czjw is another clue, whatever it is really loves close-ups.

    The "next" image after ACH000czjz is probably ACH000czk0, you have to roll over like an old-fashioned odometer. Most likely the image ids are in the order 0 through 9 followed by a through z. There's another micro-close-up at ACH000czk2. There are some adorable raccoons at ACH000czkj, but that one's from a different camera.

    Finally we get to ACH000czkl, which is pretty definitely a raccoon selfie. There are links to several nearby images on the comments for that one.

    Backing up a bit, there are more similar images starting at ACH000czj0.

    Bottom line, I suspect this is the same very curious raccoon seen in ACH000czkl and a lot of "nearby" images.

    I'm using quotes around "nearby" because it's not clear that the image ids are assigned in the order the photos were taken. So ACH000czl5 may have taken before or after ACH000czl6.


  • DZM by DZM admin

    And also, as always, don't worry if you're unsure! Many people see each pic, and there are a lot of disagreeing classifications, the image gets flagged as one that needs professional review. 😃

    Thanks for your help -- and good find!