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Raccoon Information, Photos, Habitat and Facts

The raccoon is an animal that is at once hated and beloved for its antics. While it is considered a nuisance by some, others find it quite cute.

The Raccoon (Procyon lotor) is one of the most recognizable creatures in the country because their range includes the whole United States, both in suburban and rural areas. American Expedition is proud to present information, interesting facts, and photos of The Raccoon.

Painting of a Raccoon

Raccoon Information

Raccoons measure between 16 to 28 inches (not including the tail) and have gray to brown fur and a black “mask” around their eyes. The face is light gray to white in color so the mask of the coon really stands out. The tail of a raccoon is bushy and “ringed.” It can measure up to 16 inches. They have paws with five tows on each that are very flexible and enable the animal to easily climb. A full grown raccoon weighs between 8 and 20 pounds, with males being 20 percent heavier than females.

Raccoons can run at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour, but only do this if they are spooked or being chased. Any other time, they enjoy walking slowly and casually from one place to another. Raccoons are great swimmers as well and they oftentimes look for food in the water. They are mainly nocturnal animals, but may be seen in the daytime if a source of food is available. Raccoons are exceptional climbers and can climb up and down a tree headfirst and up high in the limbs. A raccoon’s main predators include bobcats, coyotes, and Great Horned Owls.

Raccoons mate between January and March, when there is an increased amount of daylight. After about a 65 day gestation period, the raccoon will give birth to two to five babies, also known as “kits.” These kits are usually weaned by the age of 16 weeks, and in the fall the group of kits will leave their mother. The lifespan of a raccoon in the wild is one to three years.

Raccoon Facts

  • Raccoons will eat just about anything that is available to them.
  • Raccoons are nocturnal mammals.
  • Raccoons are extremely adaptable and have been seen in almost every type of setting including near streams, in forests, in cities, and in grasslands.
  • Raccoons can be pesky animals that are a nuisance to some people and places.
  • Raccoons oftentimes invade dumpsters and trash cans to find leftover food.
  • Raccoons tend to douse their food in water before they eat it.
  • Raccoons have a lifespan of around 1-3 years in the wild. Captive raccoons can live more than 20 years.
  • Raccoons often come into the path of moving vehicles on the roadways. This is one of the most common causes of death for raccoons in many areas.
  • Most states have a season for hunting raccoon.
  • Gestation period lasts about 65 days.
  • Young raccoons are known as “kits.”
  • A raccoon will have two to five babies in the spring.
  • Male raccoons are about 20% heavier than females.
  • Do not be fooled by their cute appearance. During mating season, or when they have food, a raccoon can get very mean.
  • Most of the time, raccoons get spooked very easily by the sound of a human’s voice.
  • A group of raccoons is called a “nursery.”

Raccoon Habitat

Raccoons can be found all throughout the United States, parts of Canada, and all of Mexico. They are present in nearly all environmental settings, and can be found in both cities and the country. Raccoons are extremely adaptable and have been seen in almost every type of setting including near streams, in forests, in cities, and in grasslands. Raccoons prefer to live in tree hollows, but if these types of dens are not available they will live in recycled burrows made by other mammals or they will make their home in rock and tree crevices.

What Do Raccoons Eat?

Raccoons are easy to please when it comes to food. They are omnivorous animals and eat anything available. Their diet consists of about 40 perfect invertebrates, 30 percent plants material, and 30 percent vertebrates.

A raccoon coming out of a tree.

Raccoons are extremely adaptable and have been seen in almost every type of setting including near streams, in forests, in cities, and in grasslands.

A raccoon with a happy face.

Do not be fooled by their cute appearance. During mating season, or when they have food, a raccoon can get very mean.

A raccoon swimming

Raccoons are very good swimmers.

A raccoon at a bird bath

Raccoons will make use of bird baths if they get the chance. They usually like to douse their food with water before they eat it.

A raccoon attacking a bird feeder

Raccoons will attack residential bird feeders if they get a chance.

A raccoon with its mouth open

Raccoons can be pesky animals that are a nuisance to some people and places.

Raccoon Information, Facts, and Photos
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