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You are watching: Why do raccoons wash their food



Raccoons are among the many common animals in Pennsylvania. Castle are regularly spotted nearly everywhere in the state. However, a good deal of myth and also misconception has grown roughly the species.


The quick answer is no. The longer, and more interesting, answer is raccoons spend a many time roughly water, where they find for food by research the nooks and also crannies amongst the pebbles and debris top top the stream, river or lake. Once they uncover something that might be food, they roll it about in your front paws come determine precisely what that is.

The former paws the a raccoon are exceptionally sensitive and also they usage that sensitivity to identify potential food items. If a raccoon encounters a most likely item at a street from water, they will certainly roll it about in their paws right there, there is no involving any water. It likewise will frequently rub that paws together once holding nothing. However, researcher have determined that wetting the paws rises their sensitivity.

Most monitorings of raccoons occur about water, bring about the myth the they to wash their food before eating.


In Pennsylvania, friend can’t. The raccoon is amongst the varieties that you may not “import, possess, sell, offer for sale or release” under state law

Also, you most likely would no be really happy v a pet raccoon. Infant raccoons space cute and even cuddly at times. However, once they reach maturity, they can be fierce, aggressive and also bullheaded. As adults, they likewise are solid and capable of delivering significant injury.


Raccoons space the No. 1 types documented with rabies in Pennsylvania, through a pair hundred instances or much more each year. Skunks room No. 2, generally with less than a hundred per year. Foxes and bats room Nos. 3 and also 4, each with a few dozen instances in an mean year.

However, all those numbers room miniscule once viewed in the paper definition of the hundreds of thousands that raccoons that live in Pennsylvania. Hunters and trappers kill more than a hundred thousand raccoons each year without resulting in a palliation in the population.

Raccoon is an English language adaptation of “arocoun,” the name by which Native americans in the east knew the animal.

The typical size of an adult raccoon is 28-38 inch in length, including about 10 customs of tail. A fully-grown raccoon weighs 10-30 pounds. Males space larger and also heavier 보다 females, and also some males the 40 pounds have actually been tape-recorded in Pennsylvania.

Raccoons do much of their traveling between dusk and dawn, which means most world have no idea simply how common the animals are in your neighborhoods.

However, raccoons are discovered everywhere in Pennsylvania. They room most regularly spotted near water, but they additionally inhabit mountain ridges and everywhere in between. They are extremely adaptable and also occupy almost every human-dominated landscape, from farmlands through suburbia come our biggest cities.

Beyond Pennsylvania, they space found coast to coast, in nearly every environment except deserts the highest possible elevations in the hills of the American West.

Raccoons are complete omnivores, eat just about anything lock can acquire hold of and into their mouths. That contains everything native grasses, weeds, berries, fruits and nuts come insects, earthworms, fish, frogs, crayfish, little mammals, eggs, tiny birds and carrion.

While raccoons room most active at night, they do enjoy be safe in the sunshine on a warmth day. And, the safest place for the agile rockclimbing to execute that is increase a tree, where their primary predators room unable to stalk them.

They routinely spread the end for a nap atop squirrel nests, along limbs and also wedged right into the crooks that trees.

Most raccoons have actually a home selection about a mile in diameter, bigger when food is scarce. They typically have a central den within that residence range, and several hiding spots they use frequently throughout the area.

A den can be a hollow tree stems or limb, a little cave, a spot beneath an overhanging rock, one old groundhog burrow, one abandoned building or something similar.

Raccoons are an effective swimmers and fierce fighters. They have actually been reported to rise atop dog that go after them right into water, which might push the dog underwater to its fatality by drowning. Many standard outdoor magazine covers and also art depict watery battles in between raccoon and dog, usually through the raccoon on top and implied together the victor.

The leading cause of death for adult raccoons in Pennsylvania is the engine vehicle. Humans and also their dogs room Nos. 2 and 3. Coyotes also kill far-ranging numbers that raccoons every year.

Although mother raccoons are fierce defenders of your babies, infant raccoons loss prey come a wide range of predators, consisting of coyotes, foxes, bobcats, owls and also eagles. Parasites and condition also case many raccoons.

Raccoons room not true hibernators, yet they will certainly “den up” inside a den or similar cavity and sleep away huge chunks that the day and night whenever temperatures drop much below freezing. Throughout the winter, the pets will alternative periods that dormancy v spurts of task when temperatures heat a bit.

Raccoons each other in January or February, and also females offer birth in March and also April, normally to litters of 3-5 babies. The kits, i m sorry are about 3 ounces at birth and won’t open their eyes for another 19 days or so, very first emerge native the den with their mother at about 4 weeks. Weaning begins at about 8 weeks. The young raccoons can be ~ above their very own by 3 or 4 months, although numerous family teams stay together v the young ones’ an initial winter.

In captivity raccoons have lived as long as 18 years and might control 10 or much more years in the wild. However, many wild raccoons last just 2-3 years.

While the black fur encircling a raccoon’s eye has contributed to the animal’s reputation together a bandit or thief, the markings might serve a purpose past that component of its nature.

Some have offered the theory that the black color mask plot to deflect glare far from the raccoon’s eyes, much like the eye-black does indigenous athletes.

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