their classification as carnivores, raccoons are really
opportunistic omnivores (both meat-eater and plant-eater,
as well as garbage can raider). Raccoons do not hibernate.
They go through a period of decreased activity in the
winter, which is referred to as torpor, but it is not
technically hibernation. Winter also coincides with their
mating season. So if you are used to seeing raccoons on
your property and then saycome December you wonder where
they have gone, they are either sleeping or...ahem...err...not
raccoon is one of the most vocal of night animals and
during mating season will scream, mew, growl and whistle.
Baby raccoons are especially vocal and a rehabber will
quickly learn to distinguish their numerous different
sounds. Some say the raccoon can make over 200 different
sounds. Raccoons are inquisitive and seldom pass up the
opportunity to investigate an interesting smell or crevice.
They will probe a crack with their front feet and pull
anything of interest from its hole for closer inspection.
Raccoons are extremely agile climbers (and descend trees
head-first) and have nimble feet, but they are flat-footed
like humans and bears and are relatively slow runners.
rear legs are slightly longer than their front legs which,
combined with their flat-footedness, causes them to waddle
when they walk. The raccoons footprints resemble those
of a human being. Because their front toes can be opened
wide, the forepaws can be used skillfully to handle food
and other objects. Using their sensitive hand-like front
paws, they can catch fish and small prey and bring food
to their mouths and hold it while they eat. With these
tiny "hands", the raccoon can also open locks, unlatch
bird feeders, open up garbage cans, etc.