Raccoons are medium sized, nocturnal mammals that are native to North America. They are known to be keen animals that are very clever and always roaming to search for food.

Description & Life Cycle & Habitat
The adult raccoon can measure between 16 inched to 28 inches in the body itself. The tail alone can measure from 8 inches to 16 inches long. There are smaller species that are scattered in location throughout the United States, however, they will generally remain the same size. Males are typically larger than females and in the beginning of winter, raccoons can weigh almost twice as much because of the fat storage in preparation for the winter season. Raccoons are the most known for their physical feature, the black fur around the eyes. This is known as their “mask” and goes hand in hand with their reputation for mischievous habits. They are also identified by the striped rings on the tail. The patterns on the eyes reduce glares and aid in vision during the night. Raccoons are nocturnal mammals and so they are the most active during the night. The rest of the body is colored in shades of whites, grays and browns and those that have a darker fur are typically part of a less common species located in various parts of the world.

Raccoons mate between January and until March. Regional differences may affect the mating times. During the mating season, males will roam in search of a mate and they will a courting season. Litter sizes will vary amongst different habitats but they will typically range from 2-5 kits. Kits or sometimes called cubs are both blind and deaf at birth. They will open their eyes and ear canals will open after about 15 days. In the fall season, after they have explored their den and have become used to solid foods, the young raccoons will start to split up. Females will stay close to the home whereas males will move more than 10 miles away from their birthplace.

The life expectancy of a raccoon can range tremendously. A raccoon that is kept in captivity is known to have a long lifespan for even up to 20 years. However, those that live in the wild, due to certain conflicts with the environment, may only live from 2-3 years. Young raccoons in the wild are always vulnerable to lose their mothers and die of starvation. Mature raccoons may only survive a few years due to any environmental causes like vehicular traffic or hunting. They also must survive predators like owls, bobcats, wolves, or etc.
Raccoons thrive in wooded areas and avoid open spaces like open terrains or fields. They also avoid forested areas with trees that are hard to climb. Because fish and amphibians are a preferred food source and important to their diet, they are commonly found in wooded areas that are near water sources like lakes and rivers like lowland forests or marshes. Also, because of the keen capability to adapt to many different environments, raccoons are able to use urban areas as a substantial habitat. Fruits and insects from gardens and leftover foods in waste areas and homes are readily available for raccoons to use as a food source. They usually nest in a nearby forested area and come out to forage for food.

Behavior & Food Source
Raccoons are actually very clever mammals and will inspect their food before consumption. This is why they can be seen standing on its hind legs to inspect objects with their paws. They are not able to run very quickly or jump long distances however, they can swim and can actually stay in water for a few hours at a time.
Although they are nocturnal animals, raccoons may become active during the day to find whatever available food source there is. They are omnivorous mammals that feed on a variety of foods ranging from insects, small animals like fish and amphibians, fruits, and nuts like walnuts or acorns.

Damage & Disease
The most known damage by raccoon is over raiding of trash that was left out and raided fruit trees. These damages can potentially cost a lot of money to repair and raccoons have become infamous for bandit behavior. Other and more serious issues may have been reported where raccoons have broken into poultry houses to feed on small chickens or ducks and their eggs. Campers find that they even enter tents so that they can forage for food by opening containers and creating havoc on the grounds.
Raccoons are naturally aggressive and do not have a tendency to fear humans or small animals like cats and dogs. Therefore, there have been known attacks made by wild raccoons and even some cases where small dogs and cats have been killed by attacked. They are fierce animals that have the physical capabilities to bite and claw away at their target. However, these serious attacks on people are rare and only a few have been reported.
Raccoons are also vectors for lethal diseased like rabies which is transmitted through saliva (by bites). They can also carry more than a dozen other pathogens including an epizootic virus called distemper that is the most frequent natural cause of death in North American raccoons. They may also carry roundworms in their bodies and can be attracted when breeders clean raccoon feces without wearing protective gearing.

Animal Trap

Live Animal Trap (Armadillos, Stray cats, Groundhogs,gopher, Woodchucks, Raccoons and Opossums)- Large

Live Animal Trap (Armadillos, Stray cats, Groundhogs,gopher, Woodchucks, Raccoons and Opossums)- Large

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Date: Friday, 11. February 2011 11:29
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