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  • Mapache en Zoo Aquarium Madrid. Zoológico Madrid.
  • Mapache en Zoo Aquarium Madrid. Zoológico Madrid.
  • Ven a conocer al Mapache | Zoo Aquarium de Madrid

Common name:


Scientific name:

Procyon lotor


5-16 kg


40-60 cm
Rain forest
North America


Preocupación menor
Least concern

Who is it?

The Raccoon is a mammal of the Procyonidae family and native to America (its range is from Canada to Panamá).

ts hábitat comprises places with trees, near a water deposit or course, or coastal mangrove swamps; it’s a species which has perfectly adapted to urban areas.

Its average weight is from seven to eight kilogrammes, but it has reached as high as 28 kilogrammes. .

Its fur is greyish black, sometimes reddish and brown, even if its ringed tail and the “mask” ” on its face are its best-recognised physical features.

The raccoon has a head which is wide at the back, a pointed snout and non-opposable thumbs; its legs have five fingers with curved non-retractile claws, while the underparts of its legs are naked and flat. Its forelimbs, which are small and skilful, allow it to grasp food (in fact, it is considered the “king of garbage thieves” in some cities in the United States); the forelimbs bear its weight. .

The male is usually larger than the female, which has four pairs of breasts. The northern raccoon is also smaller than its southern counterpart. .

Since it’s an urban animal, it is very commonly seen in city rubbish tips, and even in domestic kitchens. Its great shyness does not stop it rummaging in cupboards, opening fridges, parcels and packages (some have got drunk on wine); they may turn very aggressive if they are harassed by people or domestic animals.

What are its habits?

Raccoons have an omnivorous diet, eating crustaceans, crabs, arthropods, frogs, fish, nuts, seeds and berries. However, given their omnivorous and scavenging character, the raccoon’s diet contains all manner of foods

The reproduction of American raccoon lasts from December to August. Mating occurs mainly in February and March, while births occur from April to June. It is the females who look after the cubs, which leave their mothers at the end of the summer. Despite the fact they don’t hibernate, they may become dormant if the winter is severe.

Did you know…

Most individuals living in urban areas rest during the day in trunks, chimneys or attics; at dusk they go out into areas which are not much frequented (parks, streets, alleys), moving on more than one occasion though drainpipes. Researchers have observed that in Washington D.C. (where there are more raccoons than in any other city), the urban individual lives longer than his/her rural counterparts. If it’s young and survives its first winter, of course..

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