The Reproductive Cycle of Raccoons

raccoon-newborns

Raccoons are medium sized omnivorous mammals. They are members of the Procynoid family which are indigenous animals of north America. They are furry animals and usually grey or black in color. Their most unique feature is the area of darkening all round the eyes. Their tails also have a patch of black color. Being typically nocturnal animals,they also prefer quiet places to form their habitats. These include woodpiles, tree hollows and places like empty sheds and garages which what most calls we get for raccoon removal are for.
The reproductive cycle of raccoons is very fascinating. Being mammals, they undergo an actual mating process in order to give birth to live young ones. The average life span for the raccoons is around four years although some live for more than ten years. Reproduction begins when the animals mature. This is usually at age of two years for males and age of one year for females. Mating typically begins in the season when there are longer periods of daylight. Such a season falls between January and March. The whole process is interesting and encompasses courting, foreplay and actual copulation. The males search for and court female racoons during this season when the possibility of conception is very high for two to three days.

Fertilization leads to a gestation period of about fifty to seventy days. At the end of this period, the young ones are born in a litter of three to five.The mother raccoon has the responsibility of raising up the young ones. The males have no obligation to take part in this responsibility. Raising the young raccoons entails breastfeeding and weaning them usually at around fifteen weeks of age. They are also shown places to find their own food as they grow up and gain sight and sense of hearing. This is because at birth they lack these vital senses. Once they are able to fend for themselves, they stay away from their mothers and grow up. The reproductive cycle then starts all over again.