During dark, sometimes rainy and creepy nights, these masked furry faces wander our Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton communities. The Raccoon (or procyon lotor) are known as the original members of the procyonidae family that lived and are believed to have originated in Europe 25 million years ago.
They enjoy a healthy life span of about 16 years, with sizes ranging from a meager 8 to a healthy 20 pounds. Gestation often takes place in the spring and is about 65 days, with between 2 to 5 kits being born and nurtured there on.
Sadly, hunting and traffic are the most common forms of death here in the wilds of our Sea to Sky corridor but about five years ago there was also a mysterious disease that wiped out many out.
Though previously thought to be solitary, there is now evidence that raccoons engage in gender-specific social behaviour. Related females often share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four animals to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season. Like bears and other mammals, fathers are fended away by the mother because quite often, he will kill the kits, or young raccoons, so he can reproduce continuously.
Not only are there love for garbage and recycling a problem and commonality with bears, molecular analysis actually indicates a close relationship so please read on, and remember to lock and secure all garbage and recycling areas.
Territorial home range from 7.5 to 100 acres for females and 20 to 200 acres for males, hence lady raccoons are definitely home-bodies and not into relocating. Relocating or killing these critters should only be handled by professionals, and on the grounds of animal welfare doing so without is forbidden. Some experts have even challenged these arguments and give advice on feeding however it is our opinion that they belong in the wild, and do not make pets. Once they are no longer babies, around there first birthdays, they are active, and independent – and yes, if their natural independence is thwarted they will become very destructive and bite the hand that feeds them.
When raccoons create nests, they like a safe, protected, sheltered and warm place. They tear up soffits, attics, chimneys, foundations, and can cause extensive damage to gardens and homes. They can bite and scratch transmitting rabies, leptospirosis and other parasites such as the common flu.
If you have questions or information on raccoons and there sightings you can contact us anytime. Thank you, Critter Get Ritter