A racoon standing on rocks in Emerald park zoo


Procyon lotor
Conservation Status IUCN
Least Concern

For more info on classifications visit

endangered list labels least concern
endangered list least concern sign
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    Animal Class
    Mammal, Procyonidae
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    Highly adaptable species that can live in all kinds of habitats, from woodland to farmland.
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    Omnivores – Diet consists of invertebrates, fruit, vegetables, nuts and meat. Sometimes, if it is available, they will eat carrion.
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    Conservation Status
    Least concern
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  • Introduction

    Racoons are the largest member of the Procyonidae family.

    The black fur, across their, eyes resemble a mask, giving rise to their nick name, ‘The trash bandit’. Their fur is very dense keeping them insulated and protecting them from cold weather.

    Raccoon’s nocturnal animals that are most active at night-time. During the day they will often spend their time in the trees. They are mainly solitary animals with the only groups seen are of a mother and her young.

    Racoons live close to a freshwater supply as they will often put their food in the water before they eat it.

    Size: Depending on their location, Racoons can range in weight from just 1kg to a whopping 10kg! Males are larger than females with their body length ranging from 60 to 90 meters. Their tail can get up to 40cm in length and will help the Racoon balance while climbing in trees.

  • Threats/ Conservation

    Least concern:

    Racoons are found in urban and suburban habitats, as a result of human encroachment, here Collison’s with vehicle and hunting contribute to threats.

    As they are quite common and highly adaptable to the human environment their populations are on the increase in suburban areas*.


    Emerald Park conservation contribution:

    Buy an acre challenge

    In 2014, Emerald Park committed to the protection of habitat in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve in Central Mexico.

    The fund-raising initiative “BUY AN ACRE CHALLENGE” was launched with the World Land Trust and the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

    Funds from Emerald Park went towards purchasing ~100 acres of protected habitat.

  • Habitat

    Range from Canada through North America and all the way down to northern parts of South America. They have been introduced to Europe, the Caucasus region and Japan. Raccoons are highly adaptable species and can live in all kinds of habitats, from woodland to farmland. As a result of human encroachment, raccoons can also be found in suburban and urban environments.

  • Fun Facts

    Racoons help to control pest populations in their ecosystem as well as carrying out a vital role in the dispersal of seeds. As they will eat carrion, they aid in the prevention of disease spread throughout their ecosystem.

    Racoons will usually have one litter, of 2-5 offspring, per year, Young are born after 65 days in a den and are blind up until they are 24 days of age.

    When Raccoons perform their dunking ritual, the water on their paws stimulates the nerves in their forepaws. That, in turn, gives them a more vivid tactile experience and provides precise information about what they’re about to eat. This behaviour often looks like they are washing their food before eating it. Raccoons scientific name includes ‘lotor’ which is the Latin word for “washer”.