Raccoons are nocturnal omnivorous mammals and are about the size of a small dog. They have grayish fur, a famous �black mask� around their eyes and a fluffy and hairy tail with black and white stripes. They may appear as cute fluffy creatures but do not get swayed by their cuteness. Their hand-like paws are well-equipped with sharp, intractable claws, and their jaws are designed to hunt. They can be quite vicious and deadly if provoked.
Raccoons are animals that can normally be seen in urban areas, suburbs and rural areas. They tend to run away when scared by humans. In most cases, even a mother raccoon would run off with its kit rather than fighting with a human. A pet raccoon will be very affectionate and gets attached to its owner. But releasing a pet raccoon might be dangerous because it might way too friendly around humans. Experts do not recommend keeping raccoon as a pet.
Raccoons share the same ancestry with bears. This incredibly clever animal usually does not attack humans. A raccoon might try to scare you away by grunting, huffing and bluffing. A hurt, frightened or cornered raccoon might become fierce and attack a person in self-defense. A mother raccoon might attack to protect its kits. Usually, raccoons are shy and nocturnal animals. But if a raccoon is rabid, its behavior changes and it will become aggressive and fierce. A rabid raccoon would usually stumble and its movements will not be normal.
A raccoon hiding in your house (in the attic, chimney, garage or crawl space) or a trapped raccoon you are trying to release on your own might attack you because you are not giving it enough space to escape. This might make it feel threatened. Once a raccoon attacks, it can cause serious injuries along with transmitting the diseases they carry.
What should be done if a Raccoon Approaches You?
It is difficult to determine if a raccoon is rabid or not just by looking at it. Rabid or not, raccoons are wild animals that carry many other diseases. Slightest negligence can get you in trouble. Here are some tips regarding what should be should be done if you see a raccoon approaching you:
1. Cover yourself
Cover yourself with cloths like jackets to avoid any kind of scratches and bites.
2. Stay calm and simply back off
If you see a raccoon approaching you, stay still. It will freeze the raccoon for a moment. Then slowly move backward and then run away from the raccoon.
3. Make yourself look Big and Make Noise
Make yourself appear as bigger. You can do this by standing up, swinging your arms and stamping your foot. The noise would also scare raccoons away. Shout, yell and clap your hands.
4. Spray water
Spray water. You can also throw small balls or pebbles towards it. This might scare them away.
5. Call for professional help
If any of the above tips do not work, and the raccoon appears too aggressive, contact the wildlife department of your area or hire a wildlife professional.
Raccoons will attack or not, depends on different situations. They are sometimes friendly and most of the time scared of humans. However these animals might attack when they terrified, hurt, protecting their young ones or rabid. If you ever see a raccoon advancing towards you, use any of the tips given above. Raccoons are wild animals and carriers of many diseases. Try avoiding any kind of contact with them.
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