Happy International Raccoon Appreciation Day!

No, I am radder still!

October 1st is International Raccoon Appreciation Day (IRAD, although I am the rad one.) This is a day to try and dispel peoples’ notions of raccoons as mere pests and communicate why they should be appreciated.   Here’s my top ten reasons:

  1. They’re really really cute.
  2. They’re indigenous to North America, making them distinctly American (or Canadian.) 
  3. They’re very intelligent; displaying an uncanny ability to get into containers.
  4. They have a unique look (that wily black mask.)
  5. Their adaptability allows them to thrive when many other species would be threatened by the encroachment of human populations.
  6. Their hands are very nimble, with almost ape-like dexterity.  
  7. Raccoons are nocturnal, putting them in that party animal club along with owls and cats.
  8. Although they’ll eat almost anything, they’re especially fond of corn.  Or as the Native Americans called it: maize.
  9. They can live a fairly long time for a little critter: 21 years (in captivity, 3 years in the wild.)
  10.  They’re omnivorous, like humans, so they eat plants and animals. 

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