Interesting Facts About Raccoons

- The heaviest raccoon recorded had 62 pounds.

- Raccoons, along with seals, walruses, and whales, have penis bones. Back in Texas, boys used to give girls the bones as a form of love charm.

- Raccoons have a keen sense of touch.

- Raccoons never den more than 1,200 feet from a permanent water source.

- The word "raccoon" comes from the Algonquin Indians and means "he scratches with his hands".
Sitting Raccoon
Sitting Raccoon


- Raccoons will over-eat when nursing.

- Raccoons can easily unlock doors.

- There may be as many as 8,000 raccoons living in large cities.

- If you give a raccoon a sugar cube, it will first try to clean it (as raccoons clean all their food before eating it). It will wash it and wash it until the sugar cube finally dissolves to nothing.

- The record life span for a captive raccoon is 21 years.

- A baby raccoon's eyes do not open until about three weeks.

- Raccoons are mostly nocturnal animals, although they occasionally venture out during daytime if they are hungry or if something has happened to their den.

- The paws of a raccoon are very adept at opening and lifting things such as a garbage can lids.

More Raccoon Facts

- The coloring of raccoons can vary greatly, but the mask shaped area around the eyes is always a little darker than the rest of the coloring, giving the raccoon the look of a "bandit".

- Raccoons are very clean and use a common latrine in the wild.

- Raccoons can contract both feline and canine distemper, rabies, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, tuberculosis, coccidiosis, and toxoplasmosis. Parasites are: roundworm (Baylisascaris), tapeworm, flukes, and heartworms.

- Raccoons are mostly nocturnal creatures. Another myth about these animals says that if they are seen out in the daytime, they are most likely rabid. It is quite common, especially in the urban areas, for a very healthy animal to venture out during the daytime if it is hungry or its den has been destroyed. In many cases, mother raccoons that are nursing kits will be forced to search for food sources night and day. If an animal is behaving normally in the daytime, it is probably not rabid and should be left alone.

- When hungry, cold, or not in contact with another warm body, the cubs will start chattering, whine or twitter just like birds.

- Raccoons are very good climbers and are also one of the few mammals that can descend vertical tree trunks head first. Besides this, they also have very good swimming abilities and can easily cross lakes and rivers but they only venture into deep water as an escape route from trouble.

- Although the animal is considered to be the primary rabies carrier in the mid-Atlantic region, a coon has never, in medical history, been implicated in a human case. Raccoons are the most common carriers of rabies in the United States, especially in the east.

- Raccoons do not hibernate, but remain inactive for long periods during severe winter weather.

- Raccoons use their hands to pick grapes and berries very much like a human would.

- Raccoons are solitary animals, they get in contact with other raccoons only during breeding season.