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Don't let the cuteness of the raccoon fool you. Get too close, and it will hiss and growl at you. Frequently seen at outside cat or dog dishes, they are a charming thief. The raccoon is not afraid of you and will threaten to tear you apart in an effort to protect its food and its young. Some people befriend the varmits, but it is ill advised. They don't brush their teeth. If you are bitten by one, serious infection is a likely result.
The raccoon can be 37 inches long and 9 inches tall, though I think I have seen them taller than that. They weigh from 11 to 35 pounds. The raccoon can swim well and runs up to 15 miles per hour. It will eat anything. It naturally feeds in upland and aquatic habitats, but it also raids trash cans. (Keep your trash can closed with a bungee cord and a heavy rock or stick of wood, or lock it to keep the raccoons out.)
The raccoon can be seen in forests and scrub near water, towns and cities. They have been seen all over Portland, Oregon, even near the Lloyd Center, and on the coast. They are mainly nocturnal, but sometimes you can see them during daylight hours. They den up in the winter, and they are very active during mild weather.
If you are looking for their tracks, their prints look like a human hand print, only smaller. There are five well-formed toes with small claws appearing as dots. If you follow the tracks, they may end at a tree where the raccoon may be resting.
By: Martha Van Natta
Additional information: see Wikpedia - Raccoon