Little Girl the Raccoon
Little Girl was found as a young kit and raised as a "pet” for two months by a woman in North Jersey. When she arrived at Cedar Run in the early summer of 2002, she was wearing a collar and leash. Sadly, Little Girl was already deeply habituated with no chance of being released to a life in the wild. Since she has no fear of humans and has learned no hunting or foraging skills, Little Girl’s life would be in danger from people who could misinterpret her motivation for approaching them.
Although Little Girl appears cute and sociable, it would not be safe for her to interact with anyone other than her keepers. Little Girl remains a "wild” animal and is not tame as a pet might be. Raccoons kept as pets are often very destructive as they are naturally curious creatures. They have sharp teeth and are quite capable of biting.
Little Girl resides comfortably in the "specially designed” raccoon enclosure You may often see Little Girl on the high circular shelf in the center of the enclosure which is located in the Wildlife Housing Area of the Refuge.
- Native to most of North and South America
- Very adaptable; found in woodlands, farmlands, suburban, and urban areas
- Tends to build dens in trees or logs, but may also use groundhog burrows, caves, deserted buildings, barns, garages, or house chimneys and attics
- Rounded head with short nose and black eye mask, small ears, thick, grayish-brown fur, a sturdy body, and a bushy black and tan ringed tail
- Superior sense of touch; human-like forepaws especially sensitive and dexterous
- Excellent hearing, night vision, and sense of smell
- Very agile; outstanding climbers (can descend trees headfirst); good swimmers
- Extremely curious and intelligent
- Omnivore; will eat almost anything, including frogs, crayfish, birds, mice and other small animals, fruit, nuts, plants, crops, and garbage.
- Nocturnal; may remain in dens during harsh winter weather living off body fat
- Males slightly larger than females
- Usually weigh between 12 and 35 pounds
- Females care for young up to a year; Males are not involved in raising kits
- Life span: 5 to 12 years in the wild and up to 21 years in captivity
Links to more facts about raccoons