Q:

What do raccoons eat in the wild?

A:

Raccoons are omnivores and eat foods from both plant and animal sources; their diet is highly dependent on the food available where they live. According to PBS.org, a raccoon's typical diet includes fruits, nuts, plants, insects, berries, eggs, frogs and crayfish. The largest volume of their diet comes from plants and invertebrates. In urban areas and campgrounds, humans often see them scavenging through garbage cans looking for discarded food.

The original habitat of the raccoon was in the tropics, where riverbanks provided plenty of opportunities for foraging for frogs and crustaceans. They lived in burrows or cavities in trees of the forests of North America. Predators for raccoons included coyotes and foxes.

Over time, raccoons moved north. Barns and other human outbuildings provide raccoons shelter from the cold weather, allowing them to survive in areas far from their origin. This migration has lead to sightings as far north as Alaska.

This migration took them from the forest to urban areas, where they do very well. Raccoons find shelter under homes and in storm sewers. The garbage and pet foods of humans provide a constant supply of food, even when their natural sources are scarce. Additionally, the city is relatively free of predators and laws restrict human hunting or trapping of these animals.


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