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Raccoon Facts And Cute Raccoon Pictures
If you live in a North American city, chances are you've seen raccoons up close and personal.
Known as the 'Masked Bandit', many consider these creatures to be pests.
But how much do you really know about raccoons?
Here are some Raccoon Facts and Cute Raccoon Pictures that might just change your opinion of these fascinating creatures.
Description: Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are mammals with a greyish-brown body between two and three feet in length. They have a long ringed tail (about 50% of their body length) and a distinctive black and white masked-bandit face. They have human-like front paws with five fingers that allow them to pick up food before eating it.
Range: They are found throughout North America in a wide range of habitats from forests and marshes to towns and cities.
Diet: Raccoons are omnivores and will eat just about anything. They are nocturnal and use their quick, dextrous paws to catch their meals. In the wild, they catch a lot of their food in the water: crayfish, frogs, and other aquatic creatures. On land they will catch mice and other small rodents, insects, fruit and plants. The will also raid nests to get eggs. In the city, they will knock over garbage cans or ‘green’ bins containing compostable food scraps and eat what they find.
Cute Raccoon Pictures: Baby Raccoons
Raccoons typically mate in January or February.
The female builds a nest in an old tree trunk, fallen log or even in the attic of a house.
After 60 – 70 days, two to seven young are born in April or May.
They open their eyes at about 10 days but don’t leave the nest until they are 8 to 10 weeks old.
By this time, they weigh about 2 pounds and are starting to actively climb.
They stay close to their mother for up to a year.
The male raccoons are polygamous and play no part in rearing the young.
Baby Raccoons Out With Mom!
Cute Raccoon Gifts
More Raccoon Facts
Raccoons are related to pandas and kinkajous which utilise their front paws in a similar fashion to raccoons. As you can see from this photo, the Raccoon is most like the Red Panda, seen here at the Toronto Zoo.
Raccoons that live in the cooler northern end of their range eat heavily prior to winter, increasing their body fat to represent about 50% of their total weight. Raccoons do not actually hibernate, but they will sleep for long periods when it is extremely cold.
Raccoons have amazing climbing skills and are very adept at getting up trees, or into house attics where they can cause considerable damage. Raccoons are also very strong swimmers but, because they do not have waterproof fur, swimming makes them much heavier.
The early pioneers of North America (including Davy Crockett) used raccoon skins and tail to make hats and coats.
Unfortunately, despite being cute, raccoons carry many diseases including a microscopic parasite known as raccoon roundworm. It can be transmitted through their feces and has been known to cause blindness or even death in humans.
Raccoon Facts: They Love My Bird Seed!
Every night my garden is visited by the raccoons.
Attracted by the bird seed in my feeders, and the nectar in the hummingbird feeders, it is a constant battle to keep them away.
On numerous occasions I have lost the battle and seen my feeders chewed to pieces.
I've even had raccoons inside my garden chest where I keep my seed supplies (see Jack-in-the-Box below).
Now I've raised the feeders higher and put a lock on the chest, so maybe the tide is starting to turn.
But I know that with their intelligence, they will soon find a way to outsmart me!
Raccoon Facts: Raccoons Like Hummingbird Nectar Too
Raccoon Facts: Raccoons are Intelligent
Raccoons are believed by scientists to be very intelligent, rating higher than dogs and cats in their grasp of a situation and comparable to the intelligence of some monkeys.
Using their intelligence, and their dexterous front paws, they are able to get into many containers including this garden chest. I arrived home one evening to find the lid ajar.
On further investigation, I found Jack (as we named him) 'in the box'. In these cute raccoon pictures you can see how fearless he is, initially moving away from me but quickly returning when I backed off a little.
I Love Raccoons!
I hope you've enjoyed Raccoon Facts and Cute Raccoon Pictures. Despite their destructive tendencies, I certainly enjoy having them in my garden.
If you're interested, here are some other visitors to my garden here in Toronto, Canada:
Thanks for stopping by!