North American Raccoon

(Procyon lotor)

EdwardThe raccoon is one of the most charismatic and
easily recognized of our
continent’s native
mammals. Thanks to its
adaptability, it is now more
common in many parts of
California than it was
preceding industrial
development. The higher
availability of food in urban
areas has led a decrease in
the size of their home
ranges and to a high
density of raccoons in cities like San Francisco. Due to increased
contact with people, many raccoons get “into trouble,” breaking into
compost bins, backyard fish ponds and sometimes even houses in
their quest for an easy meal. Many wild raccoons die in collisions
with cars and have an average lifespan of less under 3 years, but can
live over 15 years in captivity.

The raccoon at the Randall Museum was raised at a wildlife rescue
center after being orphaned. Repeated release attempts were
unsuccessful and, following one of them, he received injuries that
resulted in the loss of part of his tail and a hind toe, possibly the
result of an encounter with other “wild” raccoons. Although close
contact with people from an early age may have made him
unsuitable for reintroduction it has made him a thriving, well-
adjusted member of the Randall Museum animal room.  He has
taken very well to daily training sessions and enjoys his daily
enrichment toys and puzzles.


Fostering a love of science, nature and the arts

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