A common myth about raccoons is that if you see one in the daytime, many think that it must have rabies. They are mostly nocturnal, but perfectly healthy raccoons will be seen during the daytime. Most times when a raccoon is acting strangely, it is likely distemper instead which is not harmful to humans. It is virtually impossible to tell whether a raccoon has rabies or distemper without a blood test.
Some signs that a raccoon needs help are obvious injuries such as limping, bleeding, if it is very thin or lethargic, runny nose or watering eyes, if it is stumbling or walking in circles or if it has lost it’s fear of humans. Because of the diseases that they can carry, we do not recommend that your handle them even if they are babies. Many of our volunteer rescuers have been vaccinated and will be glad to help.
If you do see a baby that is alone, keep in mind that the mom is not with the kids 24/7. They often leave them alone for 4-5 hours and will return to feed them if no humans are around. It is best to stay out of sight and see if the parents return. If they do not return, please give us a call at 941-484-9657.
Fun facts: Raccoons are pretty darn smart. They have evolving intelligence and great thinking and problem solving skills. Their intelligence is close to, but not as high as monkeys and apes. Raccoons are very adaptable and can survive in just about any type of environment, city, country, mountains. Raccoons are very vocal and use over 50 sounds to communicate.
Here are are favorite raccoon videos: