Raccoons are instinctively curious, adventurous, and very adaptive creatures. Raccoon population has boomed in recent years along with human population because they thrive so well in urban environments. This is everything you need to know about raccoons, their behavior, life, and more!!
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In the wild, raccoons usually make dens in hollow trees or small caves. They will also build a den out of branches and leaves. Raccoons can be found in areas with lots of trees, water, and green.
Raccoons however are also very adaptive in urban environments. Instead of making dens out of hollowed trees, they make their dens in human attics, between walls, and abandoned buildings. They may also make a den in a creek or mini forest, or anywhere else they can find privacy. There are several tight, dark spaces in which they desire to make their home.
Dark, tight spaces is where raccoons feel more secure, so any area that satisfies that is where a raccoon will build their den and hangout for a little while. They forage and roam too, so it’s never a permanent home.
Raccoons are omnivores- just like us humans; they eat both meat AND plants. Unlike humans though, they are absolutely not picky eaters. They will eat ANYTHING that comes their way. Birds, toads, and human left-overs are but a few of the many things a raccoon will eat.
Their very functional hands and climbing ability allow them to forage very easily for food. While they can hunt, they don’t usually- instead urban raccoons forage off of human leftovers. Human waste is another reason why raccoon population flourishes in urban environments- what we don’t eat, raccoons will!
Raccoon Sleep Cycle
Raccoons are nocturnal creatures, meaning they prefer to be awake in the night instead of the day (opposite of humans). Although you may sometimes see a raccoon out during the day, they are mainly out foraging at night. This is yet another reason why raccoons are performing well in urban environments- they are out while we are asleep so we don’t notice them.
If you have a raccoon problem such as raccoons hiding in your attic, it can be hard to notice because they will likely be asleep during the day.
Raccoons reproduce right at the end of winter, and they can only reproduce after they turn 1 year old. They will search for a mate, and after a female raccoon finds a mate will immediately search for a safe place to build a den to raise her young.
A female raccoon typically gives birth to 3-5 baby raccoons. It takes a few months to raise them, and then they usually stick together for another 9 months. When a raccoon turns about one year old, it will wander off away from its family and do its own thing.
Raccoons are primarily antisocial creatures. They only hang around their family while growing up, and then they’re off to do their own thing. They usually make loose communities of 5ish raccoons, but they aren’t close together. There will be no hard feelings if anyone leaves, and they aren’t bonded together. The only reason they may stick together in a den is for survival, not because they desire socializing.
Wild raccoons live to be about 3 years of age. Raccoons in protected environments can live upwards of 20 years, but it is unethical to attempt to tame or domesticate (and often illegal) a wild raccoon.
Raccoons have amazing dexterity, problem-solving intelligence, and climbing abilities. Their hands are almost as well adapted as our human hands. They can open jars, locks, bins, and solve physical challenges to get food.
Urban environments are practically a training ground for raccoons! Scientists have already proven that urban raccoons are much more intelligent than wild raccoons because of all the skills an urban raccoon learns. Urban environments provide a raccoon opportunities to learn problem-solving skills, and climb things.
Because of this raccoon violence towards humans is going down, whereas their intelligence is going up. Some scientists believe that over the next few hundred years raccoons will evolve to co-exist better with humans!
All in all raccoons have adapted very well to urban environments. They are not only surviving, but thriving with us humans. They are cute, adventurous creatures much more intelligent than several other animals close to it.
We hope you enjoyed this read and look forward to hearing what you think from it. Thanks!!
-Wildlife X Team International