Raccoons

Whilst visiting Matheson Hammock State Park, three cheeky Raccoons wandered by to investigate some nearby trash cans.

Raccoons possess amazing dexterity that allows them to open doors, jars, bottles and latches. They are also great climbers, which allows them to better access food and shelter.


 

Three Racoons out for a stroll in Matheson Hammock Park, FL
Three Raccoons out for a stroll in Matheson Hammock Park, FL

Fun Raccoon Facts

  • The raccoon’s scientific name, Procyon lotor, means “washer dog” although it is a closer relative to the bear family.
  • On the mammal IQ scale raccoons rank higher than cats and just below monkeys.
  • The raccoon has the ability to rotate their hind feet a full 180 degrees to allow for their ability to climb down from trees head first.
  • The word raccoon, derived from the Algonquin Indian word “arakun” means “he scratches with hands”.
  • The baby raccoon’s eyes do not open until 20 days or so after birth. It won’t have rings on its tail, or a mask around its eyes, until it’s older.

Activity: Nocturnal in nature, raccoons are mostly active at night. They are most active in spring, summer and fall, and will sleep in their dens for most of the winter.

Social Interaction: Raccoons are independent after 12 – 14 months of age. Adults live in loose knit communities of 4 – 5 raccoons for better protection against predators.

Communication: Raccoons communicate with each other using over 200 different sounds and 12 – 15 different calls.

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