Procyon lotor

IUCN status
Least concern
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« The raccoon does not wash its food! »

An adorable opportunist

Cute, but invasive

The raccoon is an animal that adapts very quickly to various environments. Though it prefers moist woodland, it can also live in agricultural or urban areas. The raccoon is therefore found throughout a very large geographic range, especially on the American continent, where its habitat extends from southern Canada down to northern South America. Having been imported into Europe in around 1930, mainly for the fur trade, the raccoon has since established itself throughout the continent. Even in France, where the species is considered to be an invasive species!


The Beauval Nature association

For the past 10 years, the Beauval Nature association has joined forces with field workers to support them in their primary mission of species conservation. Beauval works closely with numerous conservation and research programmes around the world to study and protect endangered species. This everyday action takes place in order to protect our biodiversity.


Beauval’s raccoons

Our raccoons receive a meal of fish and fruit each day. 

They are very greedy and are particularly fond of a certain fruit, the banana.

Beauval Nature

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Least concern

Learn more about the species

  • Diet
  • Gestation period
    2 months
  • Litter size
    3 to 7 young
  • Habitat
    All habitat types

For a raccoon, everything tastes good

The term “opportunistic” is used when talking about certain animals, but this word is particularly relevant when referring to the diet of the raccoon! No matter what habitat it finds itself in, it will always find something to eat without too much difficulty. In some habitats it feeds mostly on acorns, nuts, or even fish and shellfish, but when living in cities, the raccoon will not hesitate to add whatever it can find in the rubbish to the menu. This habit has earned it a reputation as a pest in most of the large cities in which it is found.

The raccoon is a deep sleeper

If you want to see the raccoons being active during your visit to the ZooParc, it is best to pass by the sea lion pool early in the morning! The racoon is nocturnal and is therefore rarely active during the day. In the winter, when the weather becomes colder, it will sleep for longer periods of time; but the raccoon does not hibernate, it overwinters. This means that its body temperature does not change, and its bodily functions do not slow down. It will thus live off its fat reserves and can lose up to 50 % of its bodyweight!

A washer that doesn’t wash

In French, the raccoon is called the “raton laveur” meaning “the washer raccoon” as this animal has a habit of rubbing its food with its hands. And yet, the raccoon does not wash its food! In fact, before bringing food to its mouth, the raccoon will hold it in its hands and carefully study it using its highly developed sense of touch. When this behaviour is performed whilst catching crayfish or frogs, we naturally assume that the raccoon is cleaning its food; but it is in fact simply because the raccoon has poor eyesight!

Where can I see them in the park?

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Other species in the territory

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