photo by Camron Flanders CC BY-NC-ND

Raccoons have a white face with a black mask around the eyes. There are alternating light and dark rings around their bushy tail (8-16 in) that is almost as long as their body. Raccoons are very adaptable. They can live almost anywhere and eat just about anything - insects, frogs, bird eggs, fruit, garbage. They are found across southern Canada and in most of the United States apart from the Rocky Mountains and the southwest desert. They prefer areas with trees they can climb if threatened.

Raccoons are very strong and have excellent problem-solving skills. The 5 toes on their front paws are very sensitive and act much like human hands. Raccoons are nocturnal. They sleep more in winter when several may gather in a winter den, but they don't hibernate.

Did you know? Young Raccoons learn from imitating their mothers so they often stay with her until the next litter of 1-7 cubs arrives the following spring/early summer.

See Also: Badger, Porcupine, Striped Skunk, Wolverine