Curious, clever, nimble and adaptable, raccoons eat just about anything. They find more snacks around people than they do in the woods. As a result, as many as 170 may live in each square mile of neighborhood—more than in natural habitats.

What They Eat

In the wild, raccoons eat crayfish, frogs, insects, fruits and bird eggs. They are excellent scavengers that find food left out by people to be an easy and reliable meal.

Where They Live

Raccoons most often scavenge along streams, lake shores and marshes in the wild.

What They Do

Raccoons spend the day in hollow trees or other dens, and the night foraging for food. Thick fur keeps them warm.

How They’re Doing


Where in the World

North America


Forest Marsh Urban Rural

Conservation Status


Animal Facts

Nose to tail: 25-36 inches
Weight: 6-23 lbs
Average lifespan: 5-12 years in the wild

Taxonomic Category

Mammal, carnivore

Where at the Zoo

Medtronic Minnesota Trail

  • Raccoon pelts have been harvested since colonial times, and were a popular fur during the 1920s.  Raccoon pelts may still be sold as imitation mink, otter, or seal fur. Raccoons are also hunted for their meat in some areas.
  • Raccoons are agile climbers. They can come down a tree either head or tail first.
  • Raccoons use their nimble fingers to open trash can covers, coolers, latches and even doors to get at food or shelter.
  • It’s easy to identify raccoon tracks because the raccoon’s front paws have five toes that resemble small human hands.

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