Why Raccoons Are Underrated


When you think of amazing and intelligent animals, what might you think of? A great ape? A dolphin? An elephant? Well, how about Raccoons? You know, the animals you might usually find digging through your garbage. Well, they are some of the most intelligent animals and are very clever despite how often they are underestimated. I asked five people what they thought were the five smartest animals, and none of them said raccoons, despite how often we see them in this neighborhood!

If you show a raccoon how to solve a puzzle or a lock it will remember it for up to 3 years! Scientists have found this, as well as many other things raccoons can do, such as being able to learn how to ride bikes or dance!  It was found that raccoons can think much more creatively than other animals, being able to figure out unethical solutions to puzzles that other animals struggled with.

Even after learning these facts, you might still think of raccoons as being disgusting, transmitters of diseases, and very hostile. But raccoons are very clean animals. They are known to wash their food before eating and are remarkably sanitary, making sure that no bodily waste gets anywhere close to where they sleep. Raccoons are also very unlikely to transmit rabies, being no more likely to do it than dogs, cats, or other household pets. And lastly, it is unlikely for a raccoon to attack you, the only reason they will harm you is if you harm them. This doesn’t mean you should go about petting raccoons, but if you stay far away and don’t make sudden moves, a raccoon will do nothing to you and go on doing its own business.

A very big reason people don’t like raccoons is how they get food in urban areas. You have most likely had a raccoon dig through your garbage in the middle of the night, and therefore many people hate them. But how often do you think that you are living on the raccoon’s land? That, by humans living here, we have eliminated food and shelter for raccoons so now they must eat what they can get.

So, hopefully, by now, I have convinced you of how raccoons are not what you think, and I hope that even if you still don’t like them, you at least understand them.