They look like a bandit with that black mask across their face, in fact, they are just as good at stealing than you might think.
Raccoons what a beautiful animal, a medium-sized species, looking a bit like a baby bear.
The are very curious and intelligent animals, however on the other hand for us humans they can be a bit of a nuisance. Nevertheless, these guys are about the size of a baby bear/ medium sized cocker spaniel. They have gray fur and a black band across their eyes. They are very good climbers to have powerful legs and claws helping them to grip to trees 90% of the fur is an undercoat to help the raccoons survive the very cold winter months. They have about 5 – 8 black and white rings of their tails, their legs at the back are longer than the front so they can be mistaken for having a hunch. They have very sensitive paws which mean there touch is the best sense. When under water the sensitivity will increase in the paws allowing them to find more food.
They do live in the wild but also amongst us too. In their preferred habitat they live in heavily wooded areas. Making dens in hollow trees, they prefer to be near a water source and vegetation also. Raccoons travel up to 18 miles per night in the search for food. Although they have become heavily adaptable to suit all weather and habitat conditions. A bit like Red Foxes in the UK, these guys will visit the city street and walk amongst the residents. They rummage around in the bins and overall make a massive mess which is why they can be a nuisance.
They are nocturnal animals and although native to North America they can now be found in Europe and also Japan. They are omnivorous meaning they eat plant material and also insects. Raccoons are particularly fond of having creatures that live in the waters/rivers. Clams, crayfish, frogs, fish, and snails all make the list on a raccoons dream menu. Raccoons also eat insects, slugs, dead animals, birds and bird eggs, as well as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Around humans, raccoons often eat garbage and pet food. As said they are very adaptable so, in the city, they have been found to live in abandoned cars, chimneys and under piles of large rocks.
In the wild Raccoons will be a good meal for some predators like the – Coyote, Bobcats, and Cougars. Although, larger owl species will prey on the younger Raccoons. Most the time though due to the Raccoons coming to the city, they are unfortunately run over.
The peak time for the Raccoon to breed is between March and April. It can happen though anytime between January and June. After 65 day gestation period, 2 -3 kits will be born. At 7 weeks old they can do everything an adult can do (walk, climb, run and visit other dens) At 8 – 10 years old they will wonder outside with the mother to learn about surviving. Most young Raccoons do die though due to them not having many fat reserves.
An Interesting Fact You Didn’t Know Before Reading This!!!!
Raccoons have been observed washing their food in water before consuming it! Although the reasons for this behavior are not really known, it is thought that the sense of touch of the front paws of the raccoon is heightened when wet.