In North America the raccoon is called to an Indian name for "he who scratches with his hands". He brings food in his front legs to the water, removing there inedible parts. He also looks for food in shallow water. It looks like washing, making the raccoon got its name.

Raccoons (Procyon) are predators from America with a bushy tail usually with five black rings and a typical black-and- white face with gray stripes above and below the broad head with a pointed snout, short, rounded ears, a stocky physique and long legs. The long, thick fur is brown to dark gray. The toes are long and can be widely spread. The nails are not retractable. The fingers are well developed and very suitable for peeling fruits and gripping and carrying food. The rear foot can rotate 180⁰, so they can walk with the head down along a (rough) trunk to the bottom.

He is 48 to 90 cm long with a tail of 20 to 40 cm; 30 to 35 cm tall, and weighs 3 to 15 kg. (The size between cat and fox.) He has a slow gait with head and tail low to the ground, curved back. He can run fast, very good swimming, climbing like a mountain goat, and grab as a monkey. Average moves the raccoon 180 m per hour and to 1-2 km per night.

Raccoons live solitary or in small family groups. Usually the habitat of a male overlaps with one to three females.
They are especially active at night and at dusk.
A raccoon uses multiple places. Every 1-2 days, he is looking for a new spot, generally within 450 m.
Usually the raccoon sleeps in daytime in underground caves, large tree cavities at a height of 6 to 12 m, bird nests, chimneys, sewers, attics. Sometimes he is sunning on a branch.
Raccoons do not hibernate, but are temporarily inactive in bad or cold weather.

It is an omnivore who adapts everywhere. He lust worms, crustaceans, amphibians, small mammals up to the size of a hare, fish, larvae, birds, eggs, corn, potatoes, nuts, acorns, grains. He loves sweet foods like fruit, grapes.

He has a preference for wooded areas, mainly deciduous forests, lakes and water streams.
In the wild, they live an average of 8 to 16 years, in prison to 19 years.

They get after a gestation period of 60 to 73 days between March and May (3 to 7, usually) four or five young in a high tree cavity. After two months they leave the nest for the first time.
Young animals make quite a lot of noise and may whine or cry, especially if they are alone.

Traces of feeding of the raccoon are indistinguishable from those of other predators.
Feces are 7.5-15 cm long and 15-20 mm thick. The color depends on the menu, ranging from white to blackish bleached. They are grainy and may be irregular in shape and are highly segmented. The tip is not pointed, but seems to be broken down, similar to that of a small dog. In spring the droppings are scattered deposited, beyond this latrines are used.
The walk trail is easily recognized by the finger -like front toe print.

They are introduced for hunting in Russia and two couples with permission of Reichsmarschall Herman Göring by his gamekeeper on his estate at the Edersee in Hessen (Germany) plotted to enrich the fauna since 1934. Also escaped for fur farmed copies and left mascots of American soldiers found their way across Europe. There would be more than a million in Germany.
Raccoons look cute, but they are not. Certainly male specimens are very aggressive when they are three or four years.

They have with us (Ardennes, Netherlands) no natural predator, and occur as omnivores increasingly damag in nature. They are carriers of the raccoon roundworm that can cause brain damage in children.
Avoid them to find food: compost, food bowls for dog or cat, poultry, fruit... Close the bin tightly! Fragrances or ultrasound do not work (or only briefly) to dislodge them.

They are difficult to outwit. They are nocturnal and hunt at night is not permitted. The animals are also very cunning and brutal, powerful and convenient, and cannot easily be catched. Rather there is a cat or rabbit in the trap. Raccoons also succeed in breaking out, or to drag the trap or to throw it upside. So secure it! Everything is useable as bait. Even the pups (you can sometimes find in the attic).

And yes, meat is meat. If you're looking for Raccoon Recipe, you 'll find recipes for stews, grill and any preparation for any desired menu.