These Animals Don’t Dig Burrows!

No animal deserves to die for doing what comes naturally to it, but it’s especially upsetting when animals are killed for something they don’t actually do. Cottontail rabbits, raccoons, opossums, and tree squirrels all get killed routinely by people worried that they will dig burrows in their lawns. European rabbits dig burrows, so many peopleContinue reading “These Animals Don’t Dig Burrows!”

Prevent Pandemics: Don’t Feed Wildlife

For years, raccoons have been suffering through a catastrophic pandemic introduced to them by domestic dogs. Canine distemper is a highly contagious, horrifically painful, and invariably fatal disease that infects large numbers of raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes in Tennessee. As many as half of the calls we receive are related to cases of canineContinue reading “Prevent Pandemics: Don’t Feed Wildlife”

Keep Raccoons Out of Your Attic this Winter

‘Tis the season! In winter, raccoons enter a hibernation-like state called torpor and will spend most of the season curled up in their cozy dens, resting and staying warm. For most raccoons, especially youngsters who have recently left their mothers, an attic looks like a ideal den. They’re dry, warm, insulated, and inaccessible to largerContinue reading “Keep Raccoons Out of Your Attic this Winter”

Trees Don’t Litter

If you’d ever seen how quickly our raccoon patients can devour twenty pounds of acorns or forage through six inches of fallen leaves for bugs, you’d understand exactly why there’s no need to “clean up” the gifts trees leave us in autumn! Many native animals in our area cannot survive winter without the bounty ofContinue reading “Trees Don’t Litter”

Canine Distemper in Raccoons: What You Need to Know

Yikes, the zombie apocalypse is upon us! Humans aren’t the only animals who experience pandemics. In recent decades, racccoons and many other wild animals have been massively afflicted with canine distemper, an extremely contagious virus that passed to wildlife through unvaccinated dogs. We saw lower-than-average rates of canine distemper in wild raccoons this year, butContinue reading “Canine Distemper in Raccoons: What You Need to Know”

Do Raccoons Hibernate?

Raccoons right now are going through many changes to prepare for winter. They’re becoming much more crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) rather than strictly nocturnal and are developing a strong instinct to forage on high-fat foods and seek shelters. All these changes prepare them “Diet Hibernation,” known more scientifically as torpor. Torpor differs fromContinue reading “Do Raccoons Hibernate?”

Raccoons Don’t Wash Their Food. Here’s What They’re Really Doing!

Raccoons are famous for their tendency to “wash” their food, but they’re not washing anything at all! Raccoons aren’t exactly the most hygienic animals; they’ll often dip their food into the same body of water they use as a latrine (communal toilet). Ick! The reason for this behavior is actually much more interesting than youContinue reading “Raccoons Don’t Wash Their Food. Here’s What They’re Really Doing!”

Raccoons Eating Birdseed: What to Do

We’ve heard people give a lot of crazy and cruel excuses for killing wild animals, but perhaps the most upsetting reason we’ve heard is, “It was eating my birdseed.” Several of our patients last year were orphans who came to us because the mothers had inconvenienced someone by nibbling some sunflower seeds. Folks, this simplyContinue reading “Raccoons Eating Birdseed: What to Do”

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 inContinue reading “Babies, Not Rabies: Why Raccoons are Awake in Daytime”