January 18th, 2023
The Raccoon has many a nickname: trash panda, bandit, coon and treasure cat.
Because of their bad reputation their intelligence is overlooked.
Scientific name: Procyon Lotor Family: Procyonidae Diet: Omnivore - opportunistic feeder Habitat: Forested areas, marshlands, urban areas Distribution: From southern Canada - Northern Mexico (exported worldwide) Population: Uncertain Level of Endangerment: Of least concern
Their shaggy fur coat is a grayish color but differs depending on the geographical location.
They 're the largest member of the procyonidae family with a length of 30-36 inches and a weight of 22 pounds.
( but a well-fed male from a good neighborhood can measure a whole 45 pounds.)
Due to their mischievous nature their cleverness is undermined.
They're able to remember a “solution” to a problem, i.e how to open trash cans, for up to three years.
Despite being highly intelligent they are not perceptible to learning commands.
For this reason, along with their unpredictable and potentially aggressive nature, it is not advisable to keep them as pets.
(although this is nonetheless a frequent occurrence globally.)
Due to their sneaky nature, tales often predicted them as tricksters or con artists.
Raccoons are a symbol in mythology and feature in many Native American folk tales.
Some tribes believed them to have strong spiritual connections seeing as their “mask” resembles war paint.
Before eating they are often seen rubbing their hands together, as if washing them.
What they are actually doing is covering them in water to heighten their tactile sensations.
This act is known as “dousing”.
They are far from picky when it comes to food and their diet is largely determined by their geographical location.
However, in areas with abundant food sources, raccoons develop specific food preferences.
Following a popular cartoon in the 70’s Japan imported a large amount of raccoons to be kept as pets.
This backfired considerably and Japan currently faces a significant raccoon problem - they ruin ancient temples with their claws and abundant feaces.