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The Raccoon is a mammal of the Procyonidae family originally from the Americas (its distribution ranges from Canada to Panama).
Its habitat includes places with trees, near a water reservoir or stream, and coastal mangroves; it is a species that has adapted perfectly to urban areas.
Its average weight is seven to eight kilograms, but it can reach up to 28 kilograms.
Its coat is gray to black, sometimes reddish and brown, although the ringed tail and the "mask" on its face are its most recognizable physical characteristics.
The raccoon has a broad head at the back, pointed snout and non-opposable thumbs; its paws have five toes with curved, non-retractable claws, while the soles of the paws are bare and flat. It uses its smaller, dexterous forelimbs to grab food (in fact, it is considered "the king of the garbage thieves" in some U.S. cities); the hind limbs support its weight.
The male is usually larger than the female, which has four pairs of breasts. The northern raccoon is also larger in size than its southern sibling.
As an urban animal, it is very common to see it in city dumpsters, and even in home kitchens. Their great shyness does not prevent them from rummaging in cupboards, opening refrigerators, packages and wrappings (some have even gotten drunk on wine); they can become very aggressive if they are harassed by humans or pets.
Their diet is omnivorous; raccoons eat crustaceans, crabs, arthropods, frogs, fish, nuts, seeds and berries. However, given its omnivorous and scavenging nature, the raccoon's diet includes all types of food.
The breeding season for American raccoons extends from December to August. Mating occurs mainly from February to March, while births take place from April to June. The females are left to care for the young, which become independent at the end of the summer. Although they do not hibernate, they can become dormant if the winter is severe.
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