INTERNATIONAL RACCOON APPRECIATION DAY
Every year on October 1st, International Raccoon Appreciation Day encourages people to learn more about raccoons and show appreciation for them. The day also encourages people to protect the raccoon’s natural habitat.
The raccoon is a nocturnal mammal characterized by its bushy ringed tail. Raccoons are also known for wearing what looks to be a little black mask around their eyes. This animal is native to North America. It can be found in many parts of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the northern part of South America. There are also raccoons in Germany, Russia, and Japan.
These critters eat a variety of foods. Its diet consists of fruits, berries, insects, small rodents, frogs, and crayfish. Raccoons also like eggs. For this reason, raccoons have been known to break into chicken coops and steal the eggs. Raccoons can also be a pesky animal for gardeners. Besides that, raccoons carry diseases like rabies and roundworm.
With all of their faults, however, raccoons are beloved by many. People love the unique way these cute animals use their paws. Their paws resemble hands and they can use them to open latches and remove lids from containers. Their rear paws rotate 180 agrees. This allows them to climb down a tree headfirst. Raccoons are also incredibly smart. At one time, these animals were used instead of lab rats. However, the strong-willed raccoon kept outsmarting the scientists. Because of their high intelligence and cuteness, some people keep raccoons as pets. President Calvin Coolidge had two pet raccoons while he was in the White House.
HOW TO OBSERVE #RaccoonAppreciationDay
On this day, many zoos and wildlife groups have special raccoon exhibits and do educational presentations on this nocturnal animal. Going on nature walks and donating to local wildlife rescue organizations are other ways this day is celebrated. To participate:
- Go to your local zoo and check out the raccoon exhibit.
- Read a book to your kids that features raccoons, such as “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn or “Raccoon on the Moon” by Russell Punter.
- Watch a movie with raccoon characters, such as “Over the Hedge,” “The Nut Job,” or “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
- Gather with friends and come up with ways that raccoons are good animals instead of nuisances.
Post a picture or video of a raccoon on social media and share it with #RaccoonAppreciationDay.
INTERNATIONAL RACCOON APPRECIATION DAY HISTORY
In 2002, a young girl in California wanted to highlight the good points about the raccoon instead of the bad ones. She wanted the world to know that raccoons have an important part in our ecosystem. For these reasons, she began International Raccoon Appreciation Day.