Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Raccoon Antics 1

With their beautiful plush fur....
....and striped tails:
Raccoons are certainly some of the favorite creatures that our guests love to watch.  It sometimes takes a little patience to find them in their exhibit area--they are fond of naps and frequently choose to hide out in their log den:
The male is usually the boldest and the first one to come out of the den:
Hey, wait!  Don't leave without me!--the female is pretty quick to follow him out of the den:
When they aren't sleeping, the raccoons might be feeling for "wild" food at the water's edge--an occasional fish or crayfish perhaps. (The exhibit butts up to the edge of Deer Park pond.)  No, they really don't "wash" their food, but with sensitive and surprisingly dexterous front paws they feel for their food.  Sometimes our animal keepers will hide food in the exhibit for them to find, too, so the raccoons get plenty of enrichment.  This is really a fun behavior for our guests to watch!
Guests often ask me, "What's all the plastic around the tree trunks for?"  Well, raccoons are excellent climbers!  Here's a few photos of the male raccoon climbing a tree....and climbing down, head first!
That's all for now....more off the beaten path in two weeks!

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