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Raccoon in Italy: where it lives, nutrition and reproduction

Raccoon in Italy: where it lives, nutrition and reproduction


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Not everyone is clear that the raccoon as animal coincides with the bear washer and with what in the scientific world is defined with the name of Procyon lotor thanks to Linnaeus. It is always the same animal, a half-sized omnivorous mammal from the god family raccoons which finds its origins in North America.
Let's see what animal it is, its eating habits and not, its typical characteristics and its qualities, always calling it in both ways.

Raccoon: characteristics

It is not one of the raccoons but it is the largest of the raccoons and it is enough to hear the measures to imagine it since this bear, called with a diminutive, is not at all small compared to other similar ones. From the head to the back it measures from 41 cm to 71 cm, even if there are specimens of about 30 cm, the weight can vary from just over a kg, 1.8 to be exact, to a maximum of even 13.6 kg . However, most raccoons weigh between 3.6 kg and 9 kg.

One of characteristics more typical of the raccoon it is her beautiful black fur mask around her eyes that is hard to miss as it stands in stark contrast to the white color of the rest of the hair on this part of the body. The ears also have a typical shape from raccoon or a slightly rounded shape, they are then covered with hair, always white, like a part of the body, obviously excluding that of the mask we talked about.

But the raccoon's hair is above all gray, stiff and long, and in some births it may show brown shades, both light and dark but not in strong contrast with the base color.

Another curious feature that allows the raccoon to be in effect also called a raccoon is the ability to support on the hind legs. It is useful, we humans know well, to analyze objects with the front legs.

Raccoon in Italy: where it lives

In general this animal is quite capable of decide where to install and he does not create many problems, he has no preferences whatsoever and if he wants to find a room of his own, he simply occupies it, whether it is a fallen log, an attic, a cellar or a hole in a tree or in the woods. In the world we find this animal widespread in both the area of ​​origin and North America, in those areas in spring and summer it is customary to stock up on food to face the cold winter.

It is not the same as living in areas further south of the same continent and obviously habits change, in the world we find six other species of raccoons, in addition to the common northern specimens, and most of these species live on tropical islands. We find the raccoon in Italy, not massively but its presence has been registered in our country, especially north of the Po river, in particular in the Lombardy region.

We have known about his presence for several years now, there have been many sightings of raccoons in the area as happened also for other alien species including the gray squirrel, the nutria and the Californian "red cheeked" tortoise. This can create problems for the natural balance of these areas in which the aforementioned animals would not be invited to live since they are not local.

Raccoon: feeding

It is impossible to list everything raccoons eat because in fact they eat everything. Really imagine these little bears gulping down food like the best omnivores on the planet, whatever they are fish, mice, insects or eggs, the raccoons feed on it and, bad to say but it must be said, they are not picky at all, they also eat garbage. It must be said that sometimes they "wash" their food by soaking it quickly in water and this is the reason, as you could guess, why they are called in common language "Raccoons".

Given their availability to eat everything, it is clear that these animals find themselves well in many areas of the planet and do not encounter difficulties in integrating even if, as we have mentioned before, the problems can be encountered by the animals that live with them. I am sure a presence that impact on the ecosystem and on the equilibrium of an environment at the local level.

Beyond the Lombardy, in general this animal lives in areas such as forests, swamps and grasslands but it is also found in cities, especially in the American ones, so don't expect to find it in Como, Milan or Bergamo.

Reproduction of the raccoon

When the brightest time for the raccoon comes is the time to mate therefore in our part presumably towards spring but also earlier, already at the end of January. This season we see males start roaming the territory in search of females, ready to court them for a short time because three days are enough to pass to the actual conception, to the act of copulation which can last more than an hour, including foreplay, and is repeated for several nights.

The gestation of the raccoon lasts just over two months, about 63-65 days, after which the litter comes to light, minimum of 2 and maximum of 5 young raccoons 70 grams, on average, it also depends on the variety we are talking about.

Born about ten centimeters long, these mini raccoons they grow fast and when they turn 9 weeks old they begin to be more independent from their mother's milk and to explore the world. At the sixteenth week we can consider them weaned adolescents, at this point what happens is that the females remain close to the mother's territory while the males move away even of several tens of Km, This also happens to make sure that the mating between relatives is not frequent.

Domestic raccoon

It's not a petany and is not used to obeying, so before taking a raccoon at home to make the original types it is better to think about it, this bear has a character that is not at all accommodating.

Let's not expect a life partner like a dog, or even a cat who, even in his desire to be independent, still has his own way of making himself feel close to us, raccoon is opportunistic, he does as he likes and is also quite lively and restless. As a child he is a great playful, tiring but agreeable, while as an adult he can also become aggressive and grumpy if he feels threatened or commanded.

Where to buy a raccoon in Italy

If we are still convinced that we want to adopt a raccoon and to host it in our spaces my advice is to contact breeders specialized in these types of atypical animals in order to be told all the precautions and tricks for easy coexistence.

The best choice, however, is to go to an animal shelter by adopting a specimen that may need a home once it has been rescued by volunteers. In any case, it is important that whoever gives us the animal, if a seller, is equipped with CITES certified (international convention of trade in endangered animal species) to be sure that the animal does not transmit dangerous diseases.

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Video: The Full Life Cycle of a Raccoon (May 2022).