As described on the Oklahoma State Animals website – Has a black “bandit” mask that shows up well on its whitish face. The body is brownish gray and the tail has rings of black and yellowish white. Mainly nocturnal, but will forage in daylight. Eats fruit, nuts, grain, insects, bird eggs, and many aquatic animals such as frogs, salamanders, crayfish, and fish. Found mainly in forests along streams and is increasing rapidly in urban areas, where it raids garbage cans. Does not hibernate, but will den up in very cold weather. Found throughout the U.S. and southern Canada, except for some places in the Rockies and deserts.
As described by Malorie – Has a cute, lovable, furry exterior with a mean, temperamental, ferocious disposition.
Some may not agree with my raccoon description, so let me explain to you how I have come to this opinion of our local nocturnal animals…
I had always enjoyed seeing raccoons around my neighborhood growing up. Our neighbors across the street had a couple of huge evergreen trees in their front yard that was home to a family of raccoons for a couple of years. I got to see the little baby raccoons, trailing behind their mother, grow a little bigger each summer. Then one year, we didn’t see them. We figured they had moved on and made their home elsewhere, but after a couple years of not seeing them, they appeared again. Maybe it was a new family, but they were all fairly big and seemed like the right age/size to be the good ‘ole raccoon family. Except now they all ate a lot more and pooped a lot more. My parents didn’t particularly like that, but I was happy to have them back anyway.
My parents had always told me not to get too close to them and that raccoons could bite you and carry diseases and such, but I was intrigued by them. How could anything so cute and shy be that bad, right? Well, one summer’s night I was sitting on the steps of our back door, talking on the phone and enjoying the cool night air. I was holding the phone with my right hand and looking out across the lawn. Mid-conversation, I heard this hissing/growling sound… really loud… really close to me. I pulled the phone back and looked to my right – there were two large raccoons hunkered down, in almost a pouncing position, about 10 ft. from me. Their eyes were locked on me, teeth barred and they were hissing/growling at me. Needless to say, I freaked out. I screamed, ran inside and slammed the door. So much for being cute and shy animals! I spent the rest of that summer scared of going outside at night. I learned my lesson though and from then on, have always kept a respectable distance from raccoons.
So, learn from me. Don’t let their cute, lovable exterior deceive you. Be safe this summer and repeat after me – Raccoons are not friends.