The raccoon is the largest vertebrate in the Procyonidae family. It ranges between 24″ – 38″ in height and typically weighs between 14 to 23 lbs. The back legs are longer than it’s front legs causing it to appear akward when running or walking. One very interesting fact is it’s paws have toes that are as flexible and as useful as our fingers. They can open doors with knobs, open trash can lids, and we’ve witnessed a raccoon holding a bag of potato chips. They are omnivorous, eating plants, nuts, insects, rodents, food in trash cans and yes, potato chips!
The characteristic black band surrounding it’s eyes is believed to reduce glare, enhancing night vision. This is important as the raccoon is a nocturnal animal. If in the wild, raccoons have been known to live up to 20 years. However in more urbanized areas, the typical life span is 2 – 3 years.
Raccoons are susceptible to disease and infections: Rabies, trichinosis, roundworm are a few common examples. Always wear appropriate protection when working with any nuisance wildlife.