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Raccoons

Gray Brothers Wildlife LLC  caught these raccoons in Westport, CT.

Raccoons are most closely related to the weasel and bear  families. They have keen senses of hearing, sight, and touch, but taste and smell are less well developed.

The front and hind paws of raccoons have 5 digits each. The dexterous front paws enable the raccoon to grasp and manipulate food items. Raccoons are excellent climbers, and can descend a tree head first.

Raccoons are primarily crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) and nocturnal (active at night). They occasionally venture out in the daytime, but that does not mean that they are diseased. Raccoons often adjust their feeding schedules, especially in spring when rearing their young. They may “den up” during the coldest periods in late fall and winter; however, this is not true hibernation, and the animals will wander out during warm spells.

Generally, raccoons are not social, but some pairs and families travel together.

Raccoons, especially large populations, prey on birds and their nests. In Connecticut, they often raid bluebird nest boxes that are not protected with predator guards. They also are problematic for herons and egrets on offshore islands where repeated predation can cause abandonment of the entire colony.

Raccoons in Westport CT

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