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It’s true that raccoons have a bit of a bad reputation. After all, they dig in garbage, steal food from campers and sometimes even set up nests in people’s attics or chimneys. But they probably don’t mean to make a nuisance of themselves. Raccoons, just like humans, are simply doing their best to get along and try to survive! 

History of International Raccoon Appreciation Day

Perhaps some people think that raccoons look like large rodents, but they are actually more closely related to bears, cats and wolves. In fact, as a part of the natural world, raccoons should be appreciated — and that’s what International Raccoon Appreciation Day is all about!

International Raccoon Appreciation Day got its start in 2002 when it was the dream of a young lady in California who felt the need to garner community support for these animals. The day was originally just called Raccoon Appreciation Day, but the term ‘international’ was added later as it began to grow, especially through Canada where raccoons also live.

Native to North America, raccoons are certainly appreciated by the people of the state of Tennessee. So much so that, in 1971, they made the raccoon their official state wild animal! This could be partially to do with the raccoon’s association with legendary frontiersman, Davy Crockett, but also simply because the animal is found in all parts of the state.

International Raccoon Appreciation Day is here to show some love and affection for this mischievous and cheeky little scoundrel!

How to Celebrate International Raccoon Appreciation Day

Have fun celebrating with some of these ideas for International Raccoon Appreciation Day:

Enjoy and Share Fun Facts About Raccoons

In celebration of International Raccoon Appreciation Day, it’s a great idea to learn a bit more about these scampy little rascals and then share. Check out some of these interesting facts about raccoons:

  • Raccoons are very intelligent and have even been able to open complex locks or solve puzzles. Perhaps that’s why they’re so good at getting into trash cans.
  • Raccoons are super swimmers. Many people don’t realize that raccoons will fish for their dinner when given the opportunity — at depths up to 30 feet.
  • Raccoons spend most of their time in trees, where they build nests and raise their young.
  • Raccoons are extremely social, sometimes living in groups of up to 20 and even sharing their food and resources with others.

Learn Safety Rules Around Raccoons 

Although they may be adorable with their little black masks and striped tails, raccoons actually do have the ability to be harmful to humans as well as pets. This is particularly true if the raccoon has become rabid, but even without rabies raccoons have extremely sharp teeth and claws that can inflict some damage.

Check out some of these rules about dealing with raccoons:

  • If approached by a raccoon, it is best to break eye contact and slowly back away to reduce the perception of being a threat.

  • Don’t feed raccoons. Providing a source of food makes them want to stick around.

  • When a raccoon is near, keep pets inside and find ways to close off the home, especially pet doors.

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