RACOON - PROCYON LOTOR

Biological classification

Order (Carnivora)

Family Procyonidae

 

                                                   Appearance

 

The raccoon has a body length of 60 cm and height at the withers 30 35 cm. Weight of  animals on average ranges from 5 to 9 kg. The biggest males can reach 15 kg. The animal has long thick fur mainly consisting of dense underfur. Color of main fur is yellowish-gray, darker on the back and sides. Raccoon has a fluffy tail with 5 7 strips.

Two of the raccoon's most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws and its facial mask almost symmetrical black spots around the eyes. The dark strip begins between the eyes and goes to the back. Eyebrows, ears and snout are white, nose is black. The ears are acuminated. It has short legs with movable fingers; the footprint of his paws resembles a human hand. It moves on foot pads and excellent climbs on trees.

Distribution

The original habitats of the raccoon are deciduous and mixed forests, but due to their adaptability they have extended their range to mountainous areas, coastal marshes, and urban areas. Areal covers most of the continent of North America. As a result of escapes and deliberate introductions in the mid-20th century, raccoons are now also distributed across mainlandEuropeCaucasia, and Japan.

Habits

The name raccoon - "procyon" is translates from Latin as "like a dog". Raccoon word comes from the Indian word "aracoon", meaning "he scratches with his hands." In America they are called kings of the garbage. They make dens in hollows, rock crevices, sometimes in their own or other species holes. Also settle in an abandoned house next to people, that guarantees them an infinite amount of food waste.

They are nocturnal. Racoons spend all days on the branches of trees or hollows. Start hunting with the beginning of dusk. Raccoons have excellent night vision and acute hearing. Have winter sleeping period.

Diet

Raccoon is an omnivorous animal. It prefers animal food: insects, frogs, reptiles, rodents, fish, lobsters, crabs, small birds and their eggs. In hot period raccoon prefers plant food: berries, acorns, nuts, various fruits and herbs. In autumn animals start preparing for hibernation and become fat quickly.

Breeding

Raccoons usually mate in a period triggered by increasing daylight between late January and mid-March. However, there are large regional differences which are not completely explicable by solar conditions. After usually 63 to 65 days of gestation (although anywhere from 54 to 70 days is possible), a litter of typically two to five young is born.

Raccoons in  Kyiv Zoo

Kyiv Zoo is home for a group of raccoons. In summer they are living in enclosure located in the garden close to lynx enclosure, and in the winter the group lives in the "Island of animals." The diet of raccoons in the zoo consists of meat, fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables.  

RACOON - PROCYON LOTOR