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.
Are the raccoons dangerous? Raccoons can carry several dangerous diseases including rabies. While incidents of rabid raccoons attacking humans are rare, it's not something you want to risk.Raccoons carry two other diseases, roundworm and leptospirosis, that can also be transmitted to humans and pets.
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.
Do raccoons come out when it's raining? Researchers have shown that weather conditions may affect the movement of Austin raccoons, and they enjoy coming out immediately after the rain has stopped. Similarly, the movements of Texas raccoons are not hindered when it drizzles slightly, however, they can be shut inside their dens when the rainfall is very heavy.
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.
Scientists believe raccoons to be intelligent animals, but people who live in cities may find that their local populations are particularly cunning. This might be the result of urban raccoons frequently having to overcome hurdles created by people. When Toronto-based psychologist and biologist Suzanne MacDonald fitted city raccoons with GPS collars, she discovered that they had learnt to stay away from significant intersections. The idea that raccoons accustomed to living among humans are better able to solve unusual challenges was validated by a second experiment. In both urban and rural areas, MacDonald hid food in trash cans. Most city raccoons could figure out how to open the tricky lid, but the country raccoons consistently failed.
Can humans get raccoon roundworm? The species commonly found in raccoons is Baylisascaris procyonis. When infective eggs of this roundworm are ingested by humans, Baylisascaris larvae hatch in the intestine and travel through the organs and muscles. Infected raccoons shed millions of eggs in their feces.