Q:

What are a raccoon's natural enemies?

A:

In North America, young raccoons may be prey to bobcats, wolves, coyotes and great horned owls. Domestic dogs may attack raccoons, but cats are no threat. In areas of the former Soviet Union where raccoons have been introduced, their main enemies are wolves, lynxes and eagle owls.

While raccoons have been known to live for more than 20 years in captivity, their life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1 years, depending on local traffic, hunting and the severity of winters. A young raccoon may lose its mother to starvation, particularly in long, cold winters, and only half of young survive their first year. They are susceptible to distemper, which, in an epidemic, can kill most of a local raccoon population. Heavy traffic and extensive hunting account for up to 90 percent of adult raccoon deaths.


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