As human civilization expanded into cities, the natural habitats of raccoon were slowly destroyed. Not to be outdone, the animals moved to the cities and made a home for themselves there. Admittedly, raccoons have always shown an uncanny ability to survive in adverse situations, and it seems that they found a way when it came to urban situations. But how do raccoons survive in these congested environments?
Studies show that raccoons, whether urban or rural, project an impressive response to tasks that require intelligence. Interestingly, those in the city show a higher degree of both fluid and crystallized intelligence. It seems that once they move to the city, they develop a sense of where they are and what they need to do to survive.
For a long time now, city raccoons have survived from foraging for food in garbage bins. These are by far their most important hunting grounds, and the animals have become quite adept at opening all kinds of latches. City governments have struggled for years to develop garden bins that beat the intelligence of these animals. However, their level of fluid intelligence is so high that they will soon find a way around any obstacle between them and the inside of a bin.
Studies carried out to compare the survival intelligence of city raccoons and those from the countryside have had some interesting outcomes. For example, an urban raccoon will approach a bin far more carefully than its rural nemesis. The city dwellers also have an admirable degree of resilience and determination. Where the rural dweller will give up easily on discovering that it is futile to open a latch or get rid of a bin, city raccoons keep at it for up to 5 days. They also tend to understand their environment far better than the rurals. Cities have now designed latches that require an opposable thumb to open and unsurprisingly, these little masters of environmental adaptation are finding their way around .
In the absence of bins to forage from, city raccoons will turn their attentions to rodents. They have also been known to gang up against cats and carry them off. Usually, the cats are never found again, so you can be sure it is never a case of taking a long lost sister home!
Another way in which urban raccoons have been known to survive involves stealing fruits and eating vegetables from city gardens. Over time, they have developed the ability to scale tree trunks in search for fruity meals.
Raccoons are the masters of environmental adaptation.They tend to find a place for themselves despite the odds.This is why it is so important to find a way off keeping them away from homes so that they do not cause damage. It is always pays to keep trying new methods of control as the animals themselves keep evolving beyond simplistic measures.