Saturday, December 6, 2014


The Northern Raccoon, aka Common Raccoon, American Raccoon and coon is found in prairies, forests, marshes, sub divisions in most of the US, southern Canada and parts of South America.  Their scientific name is procyon lotor which means something like dog/bear washer.

Speaking of washing, there is some disagreement on whether or not a raccoon washes his hands and/or washes his food.  The activity often interpreted as washing is probably the animal manipulating the food in his front feet, not to clean it or his feet, but to soften the food before eating it.  This theory holds water because when no water is around, the coon will make the same foot motions in dirt as he does in water.

Raccoons are intelligent, resourceful and versatile.  Omnivores, they eat many things from fish to nuts.  They'll eat things you'd rather they didn't, like your chickens' eggs, corn off the stalk and the trash out of your garbage can.

Some Raccoon Facts

-  they are nocturnal mammals

-  a group of raccoons is called a nursery

-  average life span:  2-3 years (up to 20 years in captivity)

-  weight:  up to about 25 pounds

-  length of body:  roughly 20 inches

-  length of tail:  10 inches

-  top causes of death:  hit by car, killed by hunter

-  predators:  coyote, mountain lion, man    

In spring, the male raccoon mates with multiple females.  He then goes back to his solitary life wandering around in a range of 3-20 square miles. 

The female's range is 1-6 miles.  She has one litter a year, gestation 60-73 days, of 1-7 kits. The youngsters stay in the den for a couple months then accompany mother when she goes out to forage for food.  They typically remain with mom for a year.   A raccoon will make a den wherever-  a tree hole, a hollow log, an abandoned beaver den or under your back porch.

Raccoon are good swimmers, climbers.  They are inquisitive, aggressive and vicious if messed with.

Some raccoons living in cold areas will fatten up in summer and fall.  In winter they will live off their fat busily asleep in their den.  Raccoons don't hibernate, they simply choose to nap heavily during cold periods.

The feet of the raccoon are hairless on the bottom.  The front feet include a thumb giving them a hand like appearance.  The coon's feet are quite dexterous.  However, the thumbs are not opposable.  The rear feet are longer and thicker than the front feet.

Raccoons are susceptible to diseases such as canine distemper, parvo and rabies.  Raccoons do not make good pets.

What I lack in thumb power, I make up for in viciousness.


  1. They're masked bandits, but learning how to behave around them cuts down on the problems they present.

  2. My uncle had a pet raccoon. He left the house one day and came back to find it completely trashed.

  3. They are very naughty but I love them. They have adapted very nicely to living with people. We need to learn to live so we don't attract them.
    Great drawing.

    cheers, parsnip

  4. On Sunday night we have party raccoons.