Animal Health & Welfare



Natural History:


  • Identified by a distinctive pattern of alternating black and white rings around a large, bushy tail. Also, a unique narrow black face "mask" with two white patched above the eyes.
  • Average 2-3 feet long, 12 inches high, and weigh 8 – 22 lbs.
  • Lifespan: average is 5 years, max between 10 – 12 years
  • Range: Most of U.S. and southern Canada. Moving further into Canada because of habitat loss in the States
  • Omnivorous: typically eat insects, rodents, frogs, fish, snakes, fruit, and nuts. They are opportunists, so they will generally eat whatever plant or animal food that is available.
  • Predators: Humans, Dog packs, traps, and automobiles, few larger predators
  • Nocturnal, Raccoons have excellent night vision.
  • Prefer to den in hollow trees or logs because they are warm, dark, quiet, and easily protected. In urban environments, likely substitutes are chimneys, attics, basements, and drainpipes.
  • Raccoons have incredible dexterity, they use their front feet for finding food in water, opening shellfish, and conveying food to the mouth. In urban environments, they use this dexterity to open garbage cans and pet food storage containers.
  • Raccoons may appear bold by fluffing out their fur so that they appear larger and uttering a throaty growl or cry, but they are not aggressive animals unless they are defending their young.


  • Raccoons are capable of carrying disease such as rabies, distemper, and parvovirus just like all other species of mammal (including humans). Be familiar with some symptoms such as paralysis, unsteadiness, discharges from nose and eyes or extreme lethargy and call your local wildlife rehabilitation center if you think an animal is in trouble.
  • Less than 1 out of 200 Raccoons have even been exposed to rabies, even less actually contract the disease
  • There are vaccinations for these diseases available for your pets. They are fully protected if they remain up to date on their shots.

Common Raccoon Questions & Answers

Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, Inc.

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24-Hour Hotline: 830.336.2725

Address: 1354 Basse Road, San Antonio, TX 78212  •  Web Address:

Should you find a wild animal in crisis, or need emergency assistance with a wild animal, please contact WRR, 24-hours a day.

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