What Do Raccoon Eat In The Wild

Feeding Habits of Raccoons

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Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are some of the most physically distinctive wildlife around, with their memorable darkly masked visages; thick, ringed tails; and frequently rotund, squat physiques. The furry mammals are hard to miss, often seen right next to human establishments, usually busily looking around for their next meals.

Basic Information

Raccoons generally have brown, reddish-brown or gray coats. Mature raccoons usually grow to anywhere between 24 inches and 38 inches long. Weightwise, these creatures tend to be between 14 and 23 pounds. Female raccoons are generally smaller than males. Raccoons can adjust easily to many different types of living environments. Not only are they fixtures in damp woodsy areas, swamps and meadows, they also are abundant in urban settings. Nearby water is a must for their successful survival.

Raccoon Diet

These omnivores are far from picky eaters, as they practice opportunistic dining styles. A lot of what raccoons consume is directly influenced by what’s around them. Some of the forms of sustenance that raccoons routinely feast on include fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, other plants, amphibians, fowl, clams, snails, carrion, bugs, rodents, slugs, worms, crayfish and eggs from both reptiles and birds. Sweet corn specifically is a raccoon preference. It isn’t uncommon for raccoons to scour for food amidst human trash. They also frequently eat pet food that is left outdoors.

Eating Patterns

Most raccoon feeding takes place in the nighttime, as they are nocturnal creatures. Daytime endeavors are rare for them. Raccoons forage with the assistance of their lengthy fingers and speedy, skillful paws. When raccoons are close to bodies of water, they frequently immerse their findings in it — a means of simultaneously checking for random things that might be stuck on the food, and also of making the sustenance have a smoother texture. When no water is to be found, however, they abandon this behavior. As far as lifestyle goes, raccoons are usually pretty independent. If a lot of food is accessible in a specific spot, however, you might find lots of raccoons congregating together.

Avoiding Feeding Raccoons

If you have raccoons around your home, offering them food might not be a safe option — not only for your household, but for the rest of the people in your neighborhood. When raccoons receive food from people, they become extremely relaxed in the presence of humans. When the raccoons don’t get the food they want, however, they sometimes turn fierce in behavior. Be smart and safe. Don’t allow this scenario to happen.

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What do racoons eat in the wild ?

Wiki User
November 13, 2015 7:28AM

Anything they can find. For example: plants and animals. Plant

examples: Berries, acorns, and grapes. Animal examples: Baby mice,

baby birds & eggs, frogs, crayfish, fiddler crabs, fish, and

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What Do Raccoons Eat in the Wild?

Raccoons are omnivores and eat foods from both plant and animal sources; their diet is highly dependent on the food available where they live. According to PBS.org, a raccoon’s typical diet includes fruits, nuts, plants, insects, berries, eggs, frogs and crayfish. The largest volume of their diet comes from plants and invertebrates. In urban areas and campgrounds, humans often see them scavenging through garbage cans looking for discarded food.

The original habitat of the raccoon was in the tropics, where riverbanks provided plenty of opportunities for foraging for frogs and crustaceans. They lived in burrows or cavities in trees of the forests of North America. Predators for raccoons included coyotes and foxes.

Over time, raccoons moved north. Barns and other human outbuildings provide raccoons shelter from the cold weather, allowing them to survive in areas far from their origin. This migration has lead to sightings as far north as Alaska.

This migration took them from the forest to urban areas, where they do very well. Raccoons find shelter under homes and in storm sewers. The garbage and pet foods of humans provide a constant supply of food, even when their natural sources are scarce. Additionally, the city is relatively free of predators and laws restrict human hunting or trapping of these animals.

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What Eats Raccoons and What do they Eat?

To understand what eats a raccoon and what they eat you should know the basics such as: where they sleep and what attracts them. To understand the lifestyle of a raccoon you can easily understand why certain animals prey, or are preyed upon, by a raccoon.

What Eats Raccoons

A quick list of what eats raccoons are: certain birds (such as hawks and owls), humans, snakes, wolves, cougars, coyotes, bobcats, and lynxes. Now, lets get into detail.

You see raccoons being the predator to many different animals in the food-web. You may have noticed that if you’re a regular reader of the Wild-Life category. Raccoons have many meal-options, they feast, snack, and leisurely enjoy a variety of different animals (will get more in depth under the what raccoons eat section) but the same thing is done to them. Once grown they become aggressive and are able to protect themselves well. The predators of a raccoon are usually aware that they will have to deal with a fight to catch their meal (in most cases at least). So what’s able to put up the fight and win? Whats able to eat a raccoon?

When a raccoons aggression fails, they resort to their defenses. Their defense mechanisms aren’t very effective but it helps in a few scenarios. Raccoons can quickly climb up or down trees to escape their predators. This is good when being chased on land and needing to escape. Their aggressive nature also helps them fight off predators when need be though they will not always win.

To name a few bobcats, cougars, owls, wolves, and coyotes are predators that prey on raccoons. Varying on the regions of the worlds, their predators will change. Lynxes and crocodiles are also potential consumers of the raccoon. Aside from what was just mentioned, their are also hawks and different species of snakes, such as the boa constrictor, that feast on raccoons. With a snake as an enemy, it may sometimes come down to a race of: who can climb the tree faster?

Lynxes, crocodiles, a few avian’s, reptiles, bobcats, coyotes, cougars, owls, and wolves are the main predators of the raccoon. Though as mentioned, scenarios and various regions of the world may alter this fact.

What are Non-Animal Predators/Killers of a Raccoon?

Humans are one of many predators that raccoons get eaten by. Humans are known to capture, kill, and eat raccoons. Aside from eating raccoons, we also negatively affect their population in numerous ways. From crashing into them with vehicles to destroying their habitats and so on.

The raccoon, sadly, has more things to worry about other than the harm humans do to them and their predators. A disease, known as distemper, quickly kills raccoons. This disease has the potential to harm a whole community of raccoons. That is the main disease raccoons can suffer from however, there are two others including (but not limited to): roundworm and trichinosis. In conclusion, raccoons can die from numerous things. Humans play a role in negatively affecting their habitual environment, being a predator, and killing them for recreational purposes.

What do Raccoons Eat

Similar to almost all living things, raccoons need some form of nourishment to live. The raccoon is an omnivore meaning they eat meat/animals and greens/vegetation. Because of so they have a wide variety of options to choose from. However, before digging deep, let’s tackle two common questions.

Do raccoons eat chickens? Yes, if they have access to chickens it can, and most likely will, happen.

Do raccoons eat cats? No, cats and raccoons try to ignore each other and mind their own business. If they decide to tussle then they may cause harm to each other but that’s rarely the case.

As those two concerns are now taken care of, let’s cover some of a raccoons other prey. Essentially, raccoons usually tend to eat almost everything. They scrummage through trash (which is why many homeowners try to trap one), can eat from your cat’s food bowl (which is why cat’s like their bowls raccoon-proof), and this last can go on for a while but let’s cut to the chase. It’s common for a raccoon to eat pet food; if they’re in the wild they’ll fetch some berries, other fruits, nuts, grains, eggs, snake, livestock (yes, including chickens), frogs, squirrels, just about anything they can get their hands on and won’t be overpowered by. In summary, a raccoons diet should consist of almost anything and everything not toxic to them.

More Information on Raccoons!

As if that wasn’t enough details already right? Well, it may or may not have been but we’re trying to ensure everything is explained here and so this section may help a few of you. To understand what eats raccoons and what they eat you need to also understand a bit about them. By doing so you’ll have a deeper understanding as to why some of the answers given above were given to begin with. Now, we’ll keep it simple and to the point so the first and only thing we’ll really discuss is two common concerns.

  1. Where do raccoons sleep?
  2. What attracts raccoons?

For the former, raccoons sleep in a forest, bush, abandoned homes or cars, wood, nests they found, and so on. During winter and other rough times you can find them in a more cozier environment. Regularly though you can expect to find one sleeping in many, many places (some places you may not expect). There are even some occurrences when a raccoon will decide to sleep in a chimney or garage even if you didn’t invite them in. To prevent that from happening we can discuss what attracts raccoons so you’ll know what to and not to do/have.

To prevent raccoons from visiting for whatever reason is not to complicate. It’s good to stop a problem at the source rather than waiting it out and needing to learn how to trap one. The most common thing that brings these unwelcome guest over to any place is food. So, by eliminating their source of food (whether it’s in the garbage can or in your dogs food bowl) is the first greatest step you can take. To extend onto that, keep in mind raccoons also eat animals such as birds, their eggs, and other wild life so if you have an issue with raccoons you may have another animal species living in your yard without paying rent!

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What Do Raccoons Eat in the Wild?

Raccoons that live in the wild tend to settle down in forests as near as they can get to a body of water. However, some wild raccoons also live in rural and urban areas. Housing and business development destroy forestry, and so the raccoon must adapt to a new environment. So, what does a raccoon eat in the wild, whether living in the forest or among rural and urban living conditions?

Forest Food

Raccoons are scavengers, so they will eat nearly anything. If they manage to live undisturbed in the forest, they will seek out some of their favourite dietary preferences. Raccoons that live in the forest have a fondness for foods that come fresh from the water, which includes snails, frogs, fish, clams, and crayfish.

When living in the forest, raccoons will also seek out additional food options, such as slugs, insects, bird eggs, and even birds. They also really like vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. If necessary, a raccoon will sustain itself by eating dead animals.

Rural and Urban Food

When a raccoon must live in rural and urban settings, their wild food diet will shift. Instead, they will end up seeking out food left in garbage bins or they will much on pet food left for outdoor pets. Although they are not great at hunting, the raccoon will also make an attempt to catch and eat mice, rats, and squirrels.

Method of Survival

Although foods scavenged from trash bins does not provide a balanced diet like that of raccoons living in the forest, it is enough to help them survive. Raccoons will eat nearly anything to ensure their survival.

Raccoons in the wild tend to live approximately two to three years, yet captive raccoons can live up to thirteen years. Typically, adult raccoons do not die of starvation because they are such great scavengers. Instead, it is human and predator activity that shortens their lifespan in the wild.

Raccoons are often targets for hunters and trappers. They also die getting hit by a vehicle while crossing the road. They may also suffer from diseases introduced either naturally or by human encounters. Certain predators can also pose a threat, such as cougars, coyotes, and domesticated dogs.

When it comes to starvation, young raccoons are far more susceptible because they are not old enough to have a well-developed layer of fat. Adult raccoons with a developed layer of fat can draw from their fat reserves when scavenging for food proves difficult.

A Word of Advice

If you see a raccoon, whether in the wilds of the forest or in your rural or urban neighbourhood, do not attempt to feed it. They are good scavengers for a reason. Raccoons carry diseases that are harmful to humans, so it is best to avoid a raccoon at all costs. If you stay out of their way, they will move along and not bother you.

If, however, you notice one living on your property or even nesting up in your attic, you should call a pest control company immediately. Do not attempt DIY raccoon removal. Raccoons and other wildlife are under the protection of Canadian wildlife that prohibits cruel and unusual methods of removal. A professional raccoon removal knows best how to handle proper methods of raccoon removal.

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