Babies, Not Rabies: Why Raccoons are Awake in Daytime

It’s that time of year! We’ve started getting our annual influx of calls about raccoons seen during daylight hours. Many callers are concerned that these animals have rabies. Don’t worry: unless you see other worrisome symptoms, being awake in the daytime isn’t cause for alarm.

From April through August, most of the female raccoons in our area are either pregnant or nursing. Raccoons don’t start eating solids on their own until they’re nearly three months old, and the mom has to eat a lot of extra food to sustain a whole litter of growing babies. That means she has to work around the clock to find food. These very tired and hungry mamas won’t get much rest until fall!

Please don’t harm raccoons seen during the daytime. If you see signs that the animal might actually be sick— such as staggering, drooling, loud noises, or unusual aggression — please call a wildlife rehabilitator or your local animal control for assistance.

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