Raccoon is a mammal whose traditional habitat includes forests, mountains and marshes along coastal areas. The animal particularly likes to live near trees that it uses to escape by climbing when threatened. Raccoons are native to Central and North America including Canada and Panama. Raccoons are also to be found in some parts of Europe including Germany and Japan in Asia where they were introduced in the 20th century as pets. Raccoons were in the past hunted and eaten as food by Native Americans. They were also hunted and killed and their fur use to make clothing. The animal has a very thick tail that was use as an ornament during celebrations. Raccoons were in the past kept as pets even though they are not classified as a domestic species simply because of their wild nature.
Raccoons adapt very easily to different environments and are no longer restricted to their traditional habitats. The first raccoons to be sighted in an urban area were those sighted in Cincinnati in 1920. They were later to be sighted in such other urban areas as Chicago and Washington DC among other areas.
Raccoons grow to measure between 24 and 38 inches in length with a bushy tail that can measure up to 10 inches. They can weight anything between 3.5 and 9 kg although males tend to be slightly heavier than females. There is another species of raccoons that are much smaller. This species is found around southern part of Florida. These animals have the ability to stand on their hind legs. Although they are slow in running, they are good swimmers that can remain in water for a long time.
Although raccoons can eat anything, they have preference for various types of fish, insects, slugs, birds, dead animals, eggs, fruits, nuts, vegetables, rats and squirrels among other foods. It is because of their kind of food that raccoons are to be found in urban areas where they can find food with ease. Those in urban areas tend to invade homes with the aim of setting up dens in the attic from where they only emerge at night since they are nocturnal animals.
The presence of raccoons near your home is a serious risk. They are known to carry rabies in their saliva, which they can transmit through bites. They are also known to be carriers of other pathogens. Raccoons are also cause serious damage not only to your attic but garden as well. They raid fruit trees and literally consume every fruit they come across. Although they are such a risk near the home, it is against the law to kill raccoons. Whether or not your city or county animal services can help you with the issue of raccoons depends on several factors. However, there are dedicated companies licensed to handle not only raccoons but wild animals in general whenever they are sighted near homes.
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