This middle-sized mammal lives in North America. It´s a member of the Procyonidae family. Adults weigh up to 9 kg and can be up to 70 cm long. Originally, they lived in mixed forests, but they spread to the mountain and swampy areas due to their adaptability. Nowadays, they live in Germany (around the area of Berlin), Kaukasia mountains and even in Japan. They live in groups of four and their habitat is around 50 hectares large. A racoon weighs twice as much before winter as it does during the spring – due to the stacking of fat.
Racoons usually mate in the beginning of spring. Males are courting females for a couple of hours a day. This courtship can last up to four or more days. Then they mate. Gestation lasts for up to 65 days – usually during the spring when the male gives birth to 1-5 offspring. The babies are blind at birth and weigh up to 70 g. They only start to eat solid food after 6-9 weeks. Then they reach 1 kg of weight and start to explore the world beyond their nest. They are completely milk-free only after 16 weeks. Racoons are omnivores. In the wild, they eat battles, lizards, fish, crab, fruit, nuts, acorns. Racoons also like baby birds, eggs, and smaller mammals. Our racoons’ favourite food are cat and dog biscuits, grapes, figs, raw eggs, fish and different fruit.
Racoons have a black mask around their eyes, they resemble a thief. This gave them the reputation of a thief or a mugger. Racoons can stand on their rear legs and smell the area while standing on their two feet. They always wash their hands with water before feeding. They are excellent and fast swimmers. They can also stay underwater for sometimes. They can live up to 20 years in captivity. Their activity drastically decreases during the winter season – they fall into some kind of hibernation. Racoons can be easily domesticated.
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