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Information About Three Types of Raccoons

Common Raccoon     Crab-Eating Raccoon    Tres Marias Raccoon 

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Procyonidae
Genus: Procyon
Species: Ursus lotor

Raccoon Pictures    Tres Marias Raccoon    Crab-Eating Raccoon    Common Raccoon   
More Information:    Professional  Raccoon Trap    Wildlife Control    Pests and Animals  Pest Control 

The most recognized animal in North America, the Raccoon gets it name from the Indian word “arakum” meaning “he scratches with his hands.” There are three species of the raccoon: the Tres Marias, the Crab-Eating, and the Common Raccoon.

 The Tres Marias Raccoon is found in the Caribbean off the coast of Mexico and is extremely rare and endangered. They are pale brown with a grey underbelly and aCrab Eating Raccoon picture golden tail

The Crab Eating Raccoon is found in Panama and Southern Costa Rica to Northern Argentina. With a salt and pepper colored fur, this creature has a smaller body and slightly larger head. 

Common Raccoon picture The Common Raccoon is found in Canada and throughout North America and is one of four wild animals found in the United States. Identified by its facial black mask and black striped tail, adults have a whitish grey coat that sometimes turns yellow when shedding. They have short round ears and black eyes. Growing up to three feet long and weighing thirty pounds, the common raccoon has sharp claws to aid in climbing trees. Very accomplished in climbing, they can climb and descend a tree frontward and backward. The common raccoon rotates its hind foot 180 degrees to help then descend trees headfirst. They use their thumbs on their front paws to help open containers from garbage cans and to hold items to inspect. Using their thumbs, they can also open refrigerators and turn doorknobs.
The common raccoon eat fruits, vegetables, acorns, earthworms, birds, amphibians, and mice. They swim in streams and lakes searching for crayfish, frogs, worms, fish, clams, turtles and turtle eggs.   Raccoons can be quite destructive around man-made ponds, especially if they spot colorful fish in the water.  This behavior often labels the raccoon as a koi pond predator.
Whenever they are near water, they inspect each item of food by dunking it in the water over and over making it look like they are washing it. 
Raccoons are very inquisitive creatures and adapt very quickly to their surroundings. When near cities and towns, the common raccoon raid garbage cans for food and also disturb newly laid sod looking for earthworms and soil dwelling insects. 
The common raccoon is active at night and sleeps in or near their dens during the day. During the winter they usually sleep together with one male guarding several females while during the summer months they are usually found sleeping on top of a logs, or in shrubs. The common raccoon's den is created in tree cavities, chimneys, and attics. They also use woodchuck burrows, storm sewers and crawl spaces under buildings.   In nesting behavior, food selection and other activities the raccoon proves to be most opportunistic, adapting very well to human beings and their structures.
Male common raccoons will travel for miles at a time in search for mates during mating season. 
The babies, known as kits or cubs, are born early spring and summer during which the male will stay with the female and her young for about a week before searching for another companion. The female common raccoon gives birth to three to five babies in a leaf nest made in hollow trees, caves or under dead trees. The young open their eyes after three weeks, are weaned after two months and stay near their mother for four to five months. Their mothers carry them around by their necks like a mother cat carrying her kittens. 
The female common raccoon is very protective of her young and will attack if cornered. When in danger, they will uses a variety of sounds from growls, hisses and screams to warn other raccoons.

Today the common raccoon is hunted for food and for sport. They have been known to carry the raccoon roundworm, which in transmitted to humans through ingestion and inhalation of eggs passed in their feces. They also can sometimes carry rabies. Preyed upon by foxes, bobcats, coyotes and owls, the common raccoon is mainly killed by cars and disease.

A raccoon is often rabid, without showing any outward symptoms of the viral disease.
With the public's fascination with this fascinating animal, rabies becomes even greater a threat than previously thought.  Not only can a raccoon carry (and spread) the rabies virus; the female raccoon can actually pass the virus to her unborn kits through her uterus.
Most animals exhibit some sort of behavior that is out of the ordinary, making it easier to spot one that is rabid.  Although it often shows absolutely no sign of being sick, a rabid raccoon can still easily transmit rabies to others.  They are cute, they are fascinating to watch.  Many people enjoy feeding them.  All these things create a possible danger to humans in close proximity to the animals.
Our main line of defense against rabies is to have our pets vaccinated.  The second line of defense is common sense.

Return to Animals and Pests    Sonic and Ultrasonic Deterrents    Safe Live Traps

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  Raccoon Pictures    Tres Marias Raccoon    

Crab-Eating Raccoon
    Trapping Raccoons   Common Raccoon