Raccoons are very smart and their antics are known around the world as they will do just about anything to get to food. Their cute masked face has made them a favorite animal and although wild, some people have actually raised them as pets.
Interesting facts about raccoons:
Raccoons are actually more closely related to bears than the foxes that they look like.
- The intelligence of a raccoon is so great that they can figure out the answers to problems and remember quite intricate tasks for up to 3 years.
- The population of raccoons is diminishing due to the expansion of people and cities.
Raccoons are mammals and are also carnivores, but a raccoon will eat many types of fruits and vegetables as well.
- Raccoons make their homes in the hollows of trees, in caves and burrows.
- Raccoons are native to the United States, Canada, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Belize. They were introduced to other countries including Belgium, Germany, France, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Raccoons mature at one year for females and two years for males and have an average number of babies from three to four in a litter.
- Raccoons will never live farther than 1200 feet from a permanent water source.
- The word ‘raccoon’ comes from a Proto-Algonquin language and translates to mean “one who rubs, scrubs, and scratches with its hands”.
Raccoons are known for putting their food in water and there are theories as to why they do this. They aren’t actually washing their food but more closely wetting it. Some think it is to enhance the taste of the food. Not all raccoons in the wild dunk their food in water.
- Raccoons are very fast and they can climb trees at an incredible speed. Baby raccoons are trained to climb the nearest tree if the sense any danger.
- The sound of a baby raccoon crying for its mother is very similar to a human baby sound.
- Most raccoons that have a good diet, can reach a healthy standard weight. The largest raccoon ever recorded weighed in at 60 lbs.