International Raccoon Appreciation Day Date in the current year: October 1, 2024

International Raccoon Appreciation Day International Raccoon Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on October 1. It was created in honor of cute, intelligent and often misunderstood animals native to North America. The holiday aims to educate the general public about raccoons, increase their appreciation, and highlight the importance of all animals for biodiversity.

Raccoons are omnivorous nocturnal mammals that make up the genus Procyon. There are three extant species of raccoon: the common raccoon, the crab-eating raccoon, and the Cozumel raccoon. The most widespread raccoon species is the common raccoon, often known simply as “the” raccoon. According to genetic studies, the closest relatives of raccoons are cacomistles and ringtails.

The common raccoon is native to the deciduous and mixed forests of North America. However, raccoons are highly adaptable, so their range has expanded to include mountainous areas, tidal marshes, and even urban areas. In the mid-20th century, raccoons were introduced to central Europe, the Caucasus region, and Japan. Some of these introductions were deliberate, and some resulted from escapes. In the European Union, the common raccoon is classified as an invasive species.

The most distinctive features of raccoons are their facial mask, ringed tail, and extremely dexterous front paws. Raccoons are often named among the most intelligent animals. Various studies have shown that density of neurons in the cerebral cortex of raccoons is comparable to that of primates and that raccoons can remember the solutions for tasks for several years.

Despite their undeniable cuteness and intelligence, many people view raccoons – primarily those inhabiting urban areas – as pests. Raccoons living in close proximity to humans can be a matter of concern when they use attics or basements as dens, become too dependent on humans as a source of food, or carry rabies. However, only particularly aggressive raccoons, which are few, pose a real problem. In most cases, restricting access to potential den sites and waste containers is enough to keep raccoons at bay.

Although some people keep raccoons as pets, most experts advise against it. Raccoons might look cute and all, but at the end of the day, they are wild animals that won’t obey your commands and may behave unpredictably. In many US states, pet raccoons are classified as exotic pets, even though they are native to the United States, and require a permit.

International Raccoon Appreciation Day was launched in 2002 by a young girl from California who wanted to focus on all the good things about raccoons. Yes, these furry creatures can be a nuisance, but ultimately they are integral to their local ecosystems.

There are many ways to celebrate International Raccoon Appreciation Day. You can learn more about raccoons by reading a book or watching a documentary about these amazing animals, look up cute raccoon photos and videos online, check out the raccoon exhibit at your local zoo, donate to a raccoon sanctuary or wildlife rescue, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #InternationalRaccoonAppreciationDay and #RacoonAppreciationDay.

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International Raccoon Appreciation Day, international observances, environmental observances, unofficial holidays, raccoons