Critter Corner - Raccoon
DID YOU KNOW:
The word raccoon come from
the American Indian word arakun meaning 'he who
scratches with his hands.' A raccoon searches in the
water, under rocks and silt, using its front paws to locate and
Raccoons look for food at
night. They eat almost everything, foraging near water for
frogs, fish, crawfish and eggs. They also search upland
areas for fruits, nuts, birds and small rodents. Raccoons
eat constantly during the summer and fall, piling on weight to
survive the winter when food is scarce.
Raccoon babies are born in
April and May. Mom raccoon has her cubs in the same den
where she found shelter in the winter.
to seven young raccoons are in a litter. The babies' eyes
are closed at birth, and the babies are noisy, especially at
night. By 3 week of age, they have black masks, ringed
tails and perky upright ears like the adults.
In the country, raccoons live
near water in woods with large, old trees. They search for
food near water at night and stay in hollow trees during the
day. However, more raccoons now live in suburbs and
cities where they find dens in buildings and feed on garbage,
compost and even pet food left outdoors.
raccoon will try to escape if it is scared. It is a good
climber and swimmer. If a raccoon is cornered or defending
its young, it is a fierce fighter and can seriously injure a dog
or person with its sharp claws and teeth.
Feeding raccoons table
scraps in the back yard can lead to trouble. Raccoons
searching for food can unlock, unlatch or untie almost
Some raccoons have a
parasite that can make humans ill.
To keep raccoons from
exploring near your home, avoid placing garbage outside
until trash day and don't leave pet food out overnight.
To learn more about
(Photo credits: Portrait of
Raccoon, California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Raccoon
babies, Waukesha County, Wisconsin; Raccoon in tree, National