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8 Facts About Raccoons

Photo Christopher Charles licensed CC BY-NY-2.0

1. Raccoons have been around for 40,000 years.

2. Raccoons migrated north by adapting to new environments and can now be found as far north as Alaska!

Two baby raccoons
Photo by Christian Collins licensed CC BY-NY-2.0

3. Raccoons are small, have sensitive hands and can eat just about anything, making them ideal for urban life.

4. Raccoons love life in the big city! Today there are 20 times more raccoons in cities than there were 70 years ago.

Little raccoon under a park bench
Photo by Richard White licensed CC BY-NC-ND-2.0

5. Toronto is the raccoon capital of the world. Fifty times more raccoons live there than in the surrounding countryside.

6. Raccoons' hands have a bunch of nerves that are like taste buds sending information to the brain.

A raccoon using his paws to eat
Photo by Joachim S. Müller licensed CC BY-NC-SA-2.0

7. Raccoons use up to 20 den sites at a time, from sheds to sewers.

8. In the city, raccoon territories average around three square blocks. They prefer backyards to parks.

Little raccoons in a tree
Photo by Jimmy Brown licensed CC BY-2.0

Take a look at how a raccoon can use its paws.


Parts of this post have been adapted from a CBC The Nature of Things story.