I've been gardening for a few years, so I'm used to the idea of animals eating plants. Deer, rabbits, woodchucks -- they'll all eat plants that just don't seem too palatable (I still don't know how deer eat thorny rose stems!)

Now I've got a new one to add to the list: raccoons eating my black stem taro.

I have to admit that I only guessed that it was the raccoons that did this, but I feel pretty comfortable with the guess. I've seen several baby raccoons in our yard, and the babies are the most destructive I've found.

They haven't learned yet what's good to eat, so they try anything it seems.

They had to pick the plants that have the fewest leaves, didn't they. Why couldn't they sample the regular green Colocasia I have with dozens of stems each?

Let's take a closer look at that damage:

They really chowed down on these.

They chewed all the way through this stem! Luckily they didn't break the whole plant off, or damage the center where the new leaves will emerge.

If it's so delicious, why didn't they eat the rest of the stems after they pruned them off?

They got a little bit of this one emerging leaf, but not enough to cause me great concern:

I do have to remove several nice leaves:

But that shouldn't set the plants back too much.

I know taro is edible, but not raw. From wikipedia: "The plant is inedible when raw and considered toxic due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals." I'm hoping it upset their stomachs so they learn not to eat this plant anymore.

I think that's too much to ask for though, since they seem to have no taste buds: they also ate some potatoes that were in my yard waste bucket -- but only the rotten ones.

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