The raccoon, Procyon lotor), sometimes called the common raccoon to distinguish it from other species, is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. It is the largest of the procyonid family, having a body length of 40 to 70 cm (16 to 28 in), and a body weight of 5 to 26 kg (11 to 57 lb). Its grayish coat mostly consists of dense underfur, which insulates it against cold weather. Three of the raccoon's most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws, its facial mask, and its ringed tail, which are themes in the mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas relating to the animal. The raccoon is noted for its intelligence, as studies show that it is able to remember the solution to tasks for at least three years. It is usually nocturnal and omnivorous, eating about 40% invertebrates, 33% plants, and 27% vertebrates.
The original habitats of the raccoon are deciduous and mixed forests, but due to their adaptability, they have extended their range to mountainous areas, coastal marshes, and urban areas, where some homeowners consider them to be pests. As a result of escapes and deliberate introductions in the mid-20th century, raccoons are now also distributed across much of mainland Europe, the Caucasus, and Japan.
In Europe, the raccoon is included since 2016 in the list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern (the Union list). This implies that this species cannot be imported, bred, transported, commercialised, or intentionally released into the environment in the whole of the European Union.
Native to North America, they are found in wooded areas near water.
Omnivores by nature, Raccoons eat fish, insects, fruit, nuts and vegetation.
Up to 20 years in captivity.
The Raccoon, also known as the Common Raccoon and the Northern Raccoon, is the largest member of the Procyonid family. These animals are characterized by their black/brown ‘mask’ like patches over their eyes.