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Raccoon | California Living Museum

Animals

Raccoon

  • The raccoon has a “bandit’s” facial mask, grayish coat, bushy tail, and extremely dexterous front paws, which make it a most distinctive and recognizable animal. Their coats have a dense underfur, providing winter warmth, and their slightly rounded ears are also bordered by white fur. Raccoons can rotate their hind feet so they are pointing backwards, which enables them to climb trees quickly.

    The original habitats of the raccoon were deciduous and mixed forests, but due to their adaptability, they have extended their range to mountainous areas, coastal marshes, and urban areas, where some homeowners consider them to be pests. Raccoons are opportunists, eating almost anything they can get their paws on. In urban areas, where wildlife and fresh vegetation are limited, raccoons will be more likely to eat human food and invade trashcans. The majority of their diet consists of sweet foods like fruits and invertebrates.

    Females, or sows, usually give birth to 1-6 kits, and are very protective of their young for up to a year.

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