20 Fascinating Facts About Raccoons

Do you know that a group of raccoons is called a nursery or a gaze?

Raccoons are known as nature’s thieves! They are smart and cute, but they can steal your food.

These crafty animals have secrets that you might not know about, such as their impressive lifespan and intelligence.

Here are 20 interesting facts about these not-so-adorable animals!

In the wild, raccoons live for two to three years, but in captivity, they can live up to twenty years.

Raccoons use more than fifty different sounds to communicate, including hissing, purring, and growling, especially when competing for food.

Raccoons are mainly nocturnal, but they can be seen during the day in some areas where food is available.

Raccoons inhabit different places, from tropical regions to busy cities. They are indigenous to North America, and Toronto, Canada, has one of the largest raccoon populations in the world. They thrive in cities because of the abundant food sources.

Raccoons have sensitive front paws that become more sensitive when wet. They have five fingers on each front paw and can rotate their hind feet one hundred and eighty degrees to climb down trees headfirst.

Raccoons are omnivorous and eat anything they can find in their environment, including bugs, plants, crayfish, frogs, and fruit.

Car accidents and diseases are major killers of raccoons. They have few natural predators, but cougars, bobcats, and coyotes have been known to attack them.

The scientific name for raccoons is “Procyon lotor,” which means “before-dog washer.” The English name for “raccoon” comes from the Proto-Algonquian language and means “one who rubs, scrubs, and scratches with his hands.”

There are seven different species of raccoon, but only one species, the pygmy raccoon, is endangered.

A group of raccoons is called a nursery or a gaze. Some dens can accommodate up to thirty raccoons, but it is more common to find around four.

The average raccoon is 16-38 inches (40-70 cm) long and weighs 8-20 pounds (3-9 kg).

Female raccoons carry their babies for about 63 days and give birth once a year to up to seven kits in early summer. They are usually born in tree holes or attics and stay there for the first few months before venturing out. The mother raises the young alone.

Raccoons have a high mammal IQ, surpassing cats and ranking just below monkeys. They can use their paws to open bins and even remember solutions to tasks for up to three years.

Raccoons have bushy ringed tails and a black mask across their eyes, which may enhance their night vision. They have thick grayish-brown fur that keeps them warm in winter, during which they enter a state of torpor. Males mate with multiple partners, but females only have one and raise the offspring alone. Raccoons are fast runners and climbers, can survive falls from great heights, and swim quickly. Their feces are tube-shaped and often found in the same spot, forming a raccoon latrine. While their behavior can be unpredictable and they can carry diseases such as rabies, the biggest danger they pose is to their own population, as they are trapped and killed for their fur.


1. What are raccoons?

Raccoons are medium-sized mammals native to North America. They are known for their distinctive black mask and ringed tail. Raccoons are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals, and they are known for their dexterity and intelligence.

2. Where do raccoons live?

Raccoons can be found throughout North America, from Canada to Panama. They are adaptable animals that can live in a variety of habitats, including forests, wetlands, suburban areas, and even cities.

3. What do raccoons eat?

Raccoons are omnivores and will eat just about anything they can get their paws on. Their diet includes insects, fruit, nuts, small animals, eggs, and even garbage. They are also known for their ability to catch fish, crayfish, and other aquatic creatures.

4. What is a group of raccoons called?

A group of raccoons is called a nursery or a gaze.

5. What is the lifespan of a raccoon?

Raccoons have an average lifespan of 2-3 years in the wild, but they can live up to 20 years in captivity.

6. Do raccoons hibernate?

Raccoons do not hibernate, but they do become less active during the winter months. They will spend more time in their dens, sleeping and conserving energy.

7. Are raccoons dangerous?

Raccoons are not typically aggressive towards humans, but they can become aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered. They are also known carriers of rabies, so it is important to avoid contact with raccoons in the wild.

8. Can raccoons be kept as pets?

Raccoons are not suitable as pets, as they are wild animals that require specialized care. In many states, it is illegal to keep raccoons as pets without a special permit.

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