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Common Raccoon (or Racoon)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Procyonidae
Genus: Procyon
Species: P. lotor
Binomial name
Procyon lotor
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Raccoon, native range in red, feral range in blue.

The Raccoon (Procyon lotor), also known as the Northern Raccoon, Common Raccoon, Washer Bear or Coon, is a widespread, medium-sized, omnivorous mammal native to North America.

Description[change | change source]

Recognized by its striped face and ringed tail, the raccoon has invaded almost every habitat and is commonly found even in towns and cities. The raccoon is curious, clever, and solitary and deceptively cuddly-looking. It owes its success to its ability to live in a wide variety of habitats and survive on a flexible diet. It usually dies because of traffic accidents and hunting.

Habitat[change | change source]

Although most raccoons live in the wild, close contact with humans does not bother them. They often nest in empty buildings, garages, sheds, and even the attics of houses. Since raccoons are nocturnal animals, they are most active at night. Raccoons do not hibernate in the winter, but those that live farther north, where it is colder, grow thick coats to keep them warm and spend long periods sleeping. Raccoons, when they are captured, can live up to 20 years, but they usually live in the wild only 1-3 years.