Raccoons

Raccoons are highly adaptable animals, which have learned how to thrive in human dominated environments.


They are notorious for their damaging of crops and being rubbish thieves and have been known to take up residence in attics and garages, and even to enter houses through "pet doors" in search of food.

  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct

Raccoons are sometimes seen to wash, or douse, their food in water before eating it giving meaning to their Latin name lotor, which means ‘the washer.’ The rubbing, dunking and manipulating actions are associated with finding and catching aquatic prey. The species’ average life expectancy in the wild is sometimes only about 1 to 3 years; illnesses, accidents, and the death of the mother are the most common causes of death for young raccoons. For adult raccoons, traffic incidents and hunting account for more than 75% of deaths.

Key Facts

Family:
Procyonidae, along with the coati
Diet:
Fish, mice, insects, eggs, nuts and fruits. Raccoons will also go through human rubbish bins and will eat whatever food they can find.
Life Span:
1 - 3 years wild | 20 years captivity
Distribution:
Southern Canada to Northern South America
Did you know?
Raccoons have very nimble fingers on their front feet that make it easy for them to untie knots, turn doorknobs, and even open jars!

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