While most of us approach raccoons as if they’re marauding urban (and suburban) pests that like to make a big mess and clear out before you wake up in the morning, they’re actually really interesting critters! And while most of us don’t really care as long as they’re not tipping our bins at night to get at what’s left of our OH SO DELICIOUS cronut crumbs, we’re going to talk a bit about them and why, even if they’re bothersome, they’re interesting and terrifying in their own way. Let’s get started!
Did you know that raccoons can fatten up to 50% body fat or MORE, depending on the climate? In the Yukon they’ll feast as much as they can when they find food, then live off the fat in lean times. They’re omnivorous and opportunistic eaters, meaning if they can find good grub in your trashcan they’re going to go for it – but they’ll eat bugs, rodents, persimmons, nuts and even watermelons if it’s handy. Whatever these little (and not so little) guys can get their hands on is a potential food source.
A Long and Storied Tail
A raccoon’s tail can actually grow to 52% of their full length – meaning their tail could be longer than their body, up to 40cm! Their pelts aren’t as in demand as they once were, but they were used as imitation seal, mink and otter furs and were an important resource during colonial times. Today there are cultures around the world that depend on them as a food source (with careful preparation, as raccoon roundworm is lethal to humans).
Live Long and Prosper
The oldest recorded living raccoon died when it was 21, and most can live to 16 years in the wild (since most people don’t keep them as pets we can’t really dig up any facts on indoor, well behaved raccoons living in polite society). Most die before the age of 2 though, so an old burly raccoon found out in the wild is something to behold (and probably run from).
One of the greatest things about these little guys is that they can fall from a height of 10 to 13 meters. They can climb for storeys, which might explain why your 2nd floor flowerboxes are always getting eaten. If they can reach it, they’re going to eat it. They’re also great swimmers, but since they don’t have waterproof fur they tend to avoid swimming if they can.
Touch and Go
Raccoons are extremely tactile – their hands are much like ours and they’re able to process a lot of information with their forepaws (which is why they pick up items before they put it to their mouths). Just like toddlers… well, dumpster diving toddlers.
While we can’t promise to find you a raccoon proof fortress, we can help you find a great home that fits your needs. Give us a call today and see what Oakville luxury real estate has to offer you.