Raccoon Facts and Information
Introduction to Raccoon
The Raccoon is a common enough critter out there, and one that most people are able to easily recognize. It is often called the Masked Bandit because it will come along and take food from homes and other resources when it can. Their weight can substantially vary based on location. They can be from 4 to20 pounds. They range in length from 23 to37 inches.
The body of a Raccoon can be large and they have a series of gray, brown, and black on their bodies. Around the eyes is black and they have some areas of white too. The tail has stripes of black, white, and gray on them. They have very small hands that they can use for a variety of needs.
They have a snout that is long and pointed and the nose is black. They have 5 toes on each foot and they walk from heel to toe. They are designed to make movement easy on land and for them to be able to climb quickly. They have small ears and wide eyes. They have a face that is long and muzzle like.
The adaptability and versatility of the Raccoon enables it to live just about anywhere. They are mainly found around North America. They also are able to survive in tropical regions. As a general rule of thumb, anywhere that offers some water and food resources is going to be a great place for this critter to thrive.
The Raccoon is very intelligent and they can problem solve. They can get into just about anything and that is why many people think they are a pest. They can open doors, drawers, trash cans, and other items that would normally keep other critters out of your territory. They are excellent climbers and can be high up in the trees in no time at all.
When they are coming down they do so backwards and then when they are close the ground they will turn around and leap to land on all fours. They are excellent swimmers and love to do so. They may get into the water to find food or just to cool off and splash around.
Raccoons will consume just about anything including trash if they live close to humans. They will get into gardens as well. They are very skilled in getting food including smashing melons so that they can get to the insides of them. What they will feed on depends on their location. They gorge in the spring and summer to build up reserves of fat for the winter.
Common items include mice, eggs, some small lizards and insects. If they are able to be around water they have been seen washing their food off before they consume it. Plenty of their food comes from in the water including frogs and crayfish. They will also consume fruit and plants.
Mating occurs during the months of January and March for the Raccoon. The males will stay with a female for about a week and then venture off in search of another female to mate with. The young offspring are born about 63 days after mating. They are called kits.
She will give them milk from her body and then start to teach them to hunt for their own food when they are about 6 weeks old. The average lifespan in the wild is 3 years but in captivity the Raccoon can live up to 20 years.