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The raccoon (Procyon lotor) has grayish brown fur, a black “mask” and a ringed tail. It’s dexterous, intelligent and shy by nature, although individuals can become bold when near humans.

Raccoons are considered “opportunistic feeders,” which means they’ll eat just about anything they can find, including insects, crayfish, fish, turtles, mice, young birds, eggs, acorns, nuts, fruits and berries, garbage, and pet food. They prefer woodlands near water but are common in cities and suburbs that provide adequate food and shelter. They normally den in hollow trees or abandoned burrows but also use chimneys, attics, or the space under decks and porches.

Raccoons mate between January and March and have one liter of three to four young. The young leave the den after two or three months but may stay near the female until the next spring.