Weird Nature 15 Lesser-Known Facts About Raccoons, The Dangerous Beasts In Your Backyard  

Crystal Brackett
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Raccoons are most commonly known for being cuddly little bandit-masked creatures, but while they may be totally adorable in online photos, they're actually vile beasts in a cute and furry disguise. While seeing one of these cute little trash pandas out in the open might tug on your heart strings, there are plenty of reasons why raccoons are horrible little monsters. And these scary facts about raccoons are sure to make you think twice before trying to hug one of these critters. Once you read up on these cute trash monsters, you'll discover raccoons are viciously mean. They're actually terrible little wild animals that carry diseases, trash your stuff, outright steal, and strike terrible fear in the hearts of small animals.

So, raccoon lovers, be warned, your mind might make a total 180-degree turn after discovering the disastrous, malicious, and downright dirty things these cuties are capable of.

Raccoons Are One Of The Primary Carriers Of Rabies

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Raccoons are one of the primary - if not the largest - carriers of rabies in the United States. They are also the most frequently reported rabid animal, according to the Center for Disease Control, accounting for 30.2% of all animal rabies reports.

While these reports are found heavily on the east coast, it's typically in your best interest to avoid a raccoon no matter where you see it. How do you tell if a raccoon is rabid? Usually if any animal has rabies, they begin acting erratic, have wet and matted hair around their face, and seem oblivious to sounds. And if you get bit by a rabid raccoon - or any rabid animal - you're going to have a bad time. Rabies cause muscle weakness, fever, hallucinations, and sometimes death. 

They Will Seriously Mess Up Your Pets Over Food

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Photo: Public Domain/Pixabay

If you're not careful about where you leave your cat or dog's food, raccoons might just smell it out and eat it themselves. And when a raccoon comes looking for food, the presence of another dog or cat won't deter it. Even though it's uncommon for cats and raccoons to end up scrapping, dogs will typically be more curious and go sniffing it out. If the raccoon ends up cornered and they do happen to end up getting into a fight, it's very easy for a raccoon to seriously mess up a pet or, even worse, kill it.

Raccoons will first go for the dog's eyes, blinding it before it starts jabbing at the chest. This causes a dog's lungs to collapse. Raccoon nails are sharp, and have been known to penetrate a dog's abdomen and into their organs. 

Fatal Diseases and Parasites Hang Around In Their Poop

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Photo: Public Domain/Pixabay

The droppings of raccoons carry a serious amount of diseases. And if it happens to come in contact with children or pets, it can be deadly. If a raccoon decides to settle down in or around your yard, you could possibly end up with a variety of nasty illnesses. Their fecal matter and urine can carry leptospirosis, salmonella, and raccoon roundworm.

Where leptospirosis and salmonella are contracted from coming in direct contact with the raccoon's waste, you can catch raccoon roundworm by simply being close enough to inhale the roundworm's eggs, making their fecal matter in any form extremely dangerous.

Raccoons Have A Reputation For Mauling People

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Photo: Public Domain/Pixabay

All across the Internet you can find accounts of people being viciously attacked by raccoons, either alone or in packs. From posts on forum to news reports, there are countless recollections from people who have been brutally scratched, bitten, and mauled by angry raccoons in various situations.

While there are no hard numbers on how many raccoons attack people each year, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence. Experts say raccoons are naturally very bold and curious, which means it will put itself in close proximity to humans. It's not common for regular raccoons to attack unless they feel threatened, and even then it's more common for them to freeze. But if a raccoon is rabid, it will attack and viciously so.