How smart is a raccoon? While raccoons are intelligent animals, Melanie is particularly gifted for her species. “All raccoons are pretty smart,” said Suzanne MacDonald, a professor of animal behavior at York University in Toronto. “Back in 1913, this guy named Walter Hunter wanted to see if raccoons are smarter than dogs.
Can baby raccoons survive without their mother? Baby raccoons rely on their mother for a long time. They wean gradually after about 12 weeks in the wild, but remain with her for close to a year, and den with her over their first winter. So, a fluffy little 8 week old, eyes-open baby, although mobile, is still totally dependent.
How aggressive are raccoons? Aggressive raccoons. While a normal raccoon wouldn't attack a person, they will sometimes “bluff” if they feel threatened or cornered. Raccoons may huff, grunt, or “charge” at you, but they're just trying to scare you off so you'll leave them alone.
Can raccoons climb up and down vinyl siding? Raccoons are excellent climbers, so it's fairly difficult to keep them from climbing on the roof. They can ascend the corners of most houses, and easily climb up and down downspouts. Raccoons can tear open eaves, and even shingled roof, so beware of the damage they are capable of.
In order to stock fur farms, the first raccoons were sent to Europe in the 1920s. Many raccoons escaped and started a new population in the wild thanks to an unintentional bombing and some bored farmers looking to spice up the local wildlife. Raccoons are now regarded as an invasive species in Europe.
The animals were even sent to Japan. Their journey there began more virtuously: Rascal the Raccoon, the wholesome star of the anime animation, was a childhood idol among Japanese kids in the 1970s. Children clamored for their own pet raccoons, and at one time Japan was importing almost 1500 of them each month. When these pets became too large for families to properly care for them, many of them naturally ended up back in the wild.
Anyone who has had a garden, cooler, or garbage can broken into by one of these animals knows that they have some of the most dexterous hands in all of nature. The first people to notice their unusual paws were Native Americans. The Powhatan phrase aroughcun, which means "animal that washes with its hands," is where the English word "raccoon" originates. Similar thinking went into the naming of the raccoon by the Aztecs. Mapachitli, which means "one who takes everything in its hands," was its given name. Mapache is now a Spanish word that means "raccoon."
Raccoons are one of the few extinct species that have profited from the spread of humans. Despite the devastation of much of the creatures' natural habitat over the past few decades, populations in North America have skyrocketed. Raccoons are versatile enough to thrive successfully in suburban, urban, and rural settings. Raccoons scavenge for trash and pet food in residential areas while eating birds, insects, fruits, nuts, and seeds in woodlands. Some raccoons forage in areas where people live and then spend the day sleeping in the woods. Others live in buildings, both occupied and unoccupied.