Procyon lotor

CLASS Mammalia | ORDER Carnivora | FAMILY Procyonidae

RANGE North and Central America

HABITAT Can live anywhere from forests to prairies to city parks

DIET Fish, frogs, crayfish, crabs, nuts, seeds, acorns, berries, fruit, cereal grains, and bird eggs; will even eat human trash

8 - 35 lbs

2 - 3 ft

63 - 66 days

1 - 7 cubs

IUCN Status
Least Concern

Raccoons have adapted to live in close proximity to humans. They are often called "bandits" because of their raids on garbage cans and picnic lunches searching for food, and because of the black rings around their eyes resembling masks.

During the winter, raccoons may sleep in their dens for weeks at a time, but they do not hibernate.


Raccoons have very nimble fingers on their front feet that make it easy for them to untie knots, turn doorknobs, and even open jars.

The front paws are capable of sending three-dimensional images to the animal's brain, allowing it to see while fishing around in dark, murky water.

raccoon cubs

Baby raccoons are called cubs, and weigh 3 - 5 ounces at birth. Babies stay in the den for the first two months. Cubs open their eyes around three weeks of age, and start eating solid food around seven weeks old. By two months old, they are traveling alongside their mother.

Both male and female raccoons reach sexual maturity around one year of age.