Raccoons are among the many common pets in Pennsylvania. Castle are consistently spotted nearly everywhere in the state. However, a an excellent deal of myth and misconception has actually grown roughly the species.

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The quick answer is no. The longer, and much more interesting, prize is raccoons invest a most time approximately water, where they find for food by probing the nooks and crannies amongst the pebbles and debris top top the stream, flow or lake. Once they uncover something that can be food, they role it around in their front paws to determine specifically what the is.

The prior paws of a raccoon are extremely sensitive and also they usage that sensitivity to identify potential food items. If a raccoon to meet a likely item in ~ a street from water, they will roll it about in your paws ideal there, without involving any type of water. It likewise will regularly rub that is paws together when holding nothing. However, researchers have established that wetting the paws rises their sensitivity.

Most observations of raccoons occur roughly water, leading to the myth the they wash their food before eating.


In Pennsylvania, you can’t. The raccoon is among the species that you might not “import, possess, sell, sell for revenue or release” under state law

Also, you probably would no be really happy v a pet raccoon. Infant raccoons room cute and also even cuddly at times. However, once they with maturity, they can be fierce, aggressive and also bullheaded. As adults, they additionally are solid and capable of delivering severe injury.


Raccoons room the No. 1 species documented with rabies in Pennsylvania, through a pair hundred situations or much more each year. Skunks space No. 2, usually with less than a hundred every year. Foxes and also bats room Nos. 3 and also 4, each through a couple of dozen cases in an typical year.

However, all those numbers space miniscule once viewed in the paper definition of the thousands of thousands of raccoons that live in Pennsylvania. Hunters and also trappers kill more than a hundreds thousand raccoons annually without bring about a reduction in the population.


Raccoon is an English language adaptation that “arocoun,” the name whereby Native american in the eastern knew the animal.


The typical size of one adult raccoon is 28-38 customs in length, including around 10 customs of tail. A fully-grown raccoon weighs 10-30 pounds. Males are larger and heavier 보다 females, and some males of 40 pounds have actually been recorded in Pennsylvania.

Raccoons do much of your traveling in between dusk and also dawn, which means most human being have no idea simply how common the animals are in your neighborhoods.

However, raccoons are uncovered everywhere in Pennsylvania. They are most regularly spotted close to water, however they additionally inhabit hill ridges and everywhere in between. They are highly adaptable and also occupy virtually every human-dominated landscape, indigenous farmlands with suburbia to our largest cities.

Beyond Pennsylvania, they are found coastline to coast, in virtually every atmosphere except deserts the greatest elevations in the hills of the American West.

Raccoons are finish omnivores, eating just around anything castle can gain hold of and into their mouths. That includes everything native grasses, weeds, berries, fruits and also nuts to insects, earthworms, fish, frogs, crayfish, tiny mammals, eggs, tiny birds and also carrion.

While raccoons are most active at night, they perform enjoy be sure in the sunshine on a warmth day. And, the safest location for the agile mountain climbing to execute that is up a tree, wherein their main predators space unable to stalk them.

They on regular basis spread the end for a nap atop squirrel nests, along limbs and also wedged right into the crooks that trees.

Most raccoons have a home selection about a mile in diameter, bigger when food is scarce. They usually have a main den within that home range, as well as several hiding spots they use frequently throughout that area.

A den could be a hollow tree stems or limb, a small cave, a spot beneath an overhanging rock, an old groundhog burrow, one abandoned building or other similar.

Raccoons are an effective swimmers and also fierce fighters. They have actually been report to rise atop dogs that pursue them right into water, which could push the dog underwater to its death by drowning. Many standard outdoor newspaper covers and also art depict watery battles in between raccoon and also dog, usually with the raccoon ~ above top and also implied together the victor.

The leading cause of death for adult raccoons in Pennsylvania is the motor vehicle. Humans and also their dogs are Nos. 2 and 3. Coyotes additionally kill far-reaching numbers that raccoons every year.

Although mommy raccoons are fierce defenders of their babies, infant raccoons fall prey come a wide selection of predators, including coyotes, foxes, bobcats, owls and eagles. Parasites and an illness also case many raccoons.

Raccoons are not true hibernators, but they will “den up” inside a den or comparable cavity and sleep away big chunks the the day and night whenever temperature drop much below freezing. Throughout the winter, the pets will alternate periods that dormancy v spurts of task when temperatures warmth a bit.

Raccoons breed in January or February, and also females offer birth in March and April, usually to litters of 3-5 babies. The kits, which are around 3 ounces at birth and also won’t open their eyes for one more 19 days or so, very first emerge native the den v their mother at around 4 weeks. Weaning begins at around 8 weeks. The young raccoons can be on their own by 3 or 4 months, although countless family teams stay together v the young ones’ very first winter.

In bondage raccoons have actually lived as lengthy as 18 years and might regulate 10 or much more years in the wild. However, many wild raccoons last only 2-3 years.

While the black fur encircling a raccoon’s eyes has contributed to the animal’s reputation together a bandit or thief, the markings might serve a purpose beyond that part of that nature.

Some have readily available the theory that the black color mask acts to deflect glare away from the raccoon’s eyes, lot like the eye-black does native athletes.

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