Mature Raccoons can weigh 25 pounds or more and attain a total length of 40 inches, which includes a thick 12 inch tail. They only live for a few years in the wild. They are easily identified by their black and white fur, especially the black mask and ringed tail. Raccoon are omnivorous, eating everything from land and water animals, to fruit and corn, to carrion and human garbage. They swim and climb trees (images 1,2). They don’t hibernate, but they can withstand severe winter storms by holing up in a hollow tree or subterranean den in a partial dormancy.
Raccoons are common in Fontenelle Forest and Neale Woods, but they are nocturnal and not seen often during the day. Their distinctive tracks along shores and near mud puddles and fresh snow give away their presence. Raccoon families often make loud noises during the night as they make their rounds along the same, age-old tracks every night. These can be seen in fresh snow. The young stay with the female until early winter, before she drives them away to breed again.
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