The majority of Toronto residents approve of the idea of humanely euthanizing raccoons to control their population, according to a poll conducted earlier this week.

In light of recent comments from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Forum Research asked Toronto residents how they felt about exterminating a segment of the city's raccoon population.

The survey found that 52 per cent of people approved of euthanizing the nocturnal critters, compared to 28 per cent who disapproved. One-fifth of respondents said they had no opinion.

Most residents who said they'd approve of extermination were 55 and older males who earned $80,000 to $250,000. Raccoons were most despised in North York and Etobicoke by John Tory supporters.

Last week, Ford spoke out against the masked bandits at a news conference.

"You could yell and scream at them but they just look at you," he said, adding that his family members were afraid to take out the garbage at his home.

The poll results are based on a telephone survey of 931 randomly selected Toronto residents aged 18 and older. The poll, conducted Aug. 25, is considered to be accurate plus or minus 3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.