How Long Do Raccoons Live In The Wild?

How Long Do Raccoons Live In The Wild?

Raccoons are intelligent animals that will keep you entertained for hours. You may have seen that it can be challenging to estimate an adult raccoon’s age. You may now be wondering how long raccoons live as a result.

Raccoons in the wild have a life expectancy of two to three years. A little more than half of all baby raccoons won’t make it past their first year. Raccoons have a 70–90% probability of surviving as adults. A wild raccoon’s lifespan is influenced by a number of variables, including its habitat, nutrition, health, and local ecosystem.

If raccoons frequent your yard, you might be interested in learning how long they can live. Everything you need to know about the factors that affect a raccoon’s life is covered in this book. You can also get tips on how to coexist peacefully with raccoons and lessen any danger you could pose to them.

Let’s get going.

How Long Do Wild Racoons Live?

Raccoons in the wild have a lifespan of up to 15 years, but they typically pass away at 2 to 3 years old. Undoubtedly, there will always be individuals who defy the odds and have a longer lifespan.

The fact that half of raccoons pass away before turning one is the cause of the low average age at which raccoons die. Predators and sickness are the main reasons why juvenile raccoons pass away.

Raccoons have a far greater chance of surviving once they reach adulthood. Raccoons that live past the age of one are typically 5–6 years old.

Raccoons need to develop resilience against a variety of threats that could negatively affect their chances of surviving. Let’s look at the factors that influence a raccoon’s longevity.

Why do raccoons have such a short lifespan?

Why do raccoons have such a short lifespan?

1. Food Sources

Raccoon survival is seriously threatened by food availability. Raccoons need a consistent supply of food to meet their energy needs for mating, carrying, and nursing young.

Raccoons are opportunistic omnivores, which helps them adjust to dwindling food supplies over time. Raccoons eat a wide variety of foods, including meat, plants, fish, eggs, nuts, cereals, and rubbish.

A raccoon will starve to death absent a consistent source of food. This happens frequently to young raccoons who still depend on their mother to find food. The kits will starve to death if the mother is slain, which is a sure way to end their lives.

During the heat, raccoons require more food than they normally would. In order to help them survive the winter, this will help them develop a thick coat and layers of fat. Inclement weather or frozen ground can make it more difficult to find food.

Raccoons frequently plunder urban gardens in search of simple food sources like trashcans, pet bowls, or bird feeders. A raccoon’s vulnerability in the wild is increased by a diet that mainly relies on these sources, which is likely to result in nutritional inadequacies.

2. Predators

Numerous species higher on the food chain prey on raccoons.

These are typical raccoon predators:

  • Cougars
  • Bobcats
  • Coyotes
  • Owls
  • Hawks
  • Eagles
  • Foxes
  • Wolves
  • Snakes

When raccoons are young and immature, they are typically eaten. They are hence tiny and lack the capacity to resist or flee. When the mother raccoon departs to forage, certain predators will follow her and attack the young in their den.

Raccoons in the wild are also greatly harmed by domestic dogs. A raccoon that is scavenging in your yard might be readily caught and killed by a dog.

Adult raccoons are combative and frequently able to defend themselves against a predator attack. At roughly 8 weeks of age, young raccoons are released into the wild to hunt. By doing so, they spend less time alone in the den, where they are more vulnerable to predators.

A raccoon’s ability to survive is also seriously threatened by human capturing and hunting. In the USA, hundreds of thousands of raccoons are killed by people every year. The majority of animals are slaughtered for food, sport, or fur.

Raccoons are also destroyed because they carry disease, harm crops and poultry, and are considered pests.

3. Disease

The likelihood of a raccoon surviving has a significant impact on its health. One of the leading causes of death for wild raccoons is illness and parasites.

Typical ailments that wild raccoons catch include:

  • Rabies
  • Distemper
  • Roundworm
  • Salmonella
  • Parvovirus

These illnesses are just a few of the most typical ones that raccoons get. Raccoons are susceptible to many diseases, especially if they are young, hurt, or malnourished.

The majority of these illnesses affect the raccoon’s internal organs, which often results in multiple organ failure. The raccoon will get sicker and be unable to obtain food or stay protected until they pass away.

4. Injury

The environment a raccoon lives in may increase their danger of harm. A hurt raccoon is more susceptible to predators, unable to find food, and susceptible to infection.

The danger of injury for raccoons living close to cities is greatest because of their encounters with people. When raccoons trespass on land or in gardens, they frequently suffer injury. Dogs, bullets, or poison may be at blame for this.

Additionally vulnerable to harm from car incidents are raccoons. The majority of raccoons that are struck by cars die as soon as possible. Some may sustain fractured bones, serious internal wounds, or significant open wounds.

Raccoons may suffer a life-threatening injury as a result of hunting or trapping equipment. If the raccoon does pass away right away, it most likely did so through malnutrition or exposure to predators.

Raccoons get hurt as they run from predators or when they battle to protect their territory. Most frequently, relocating a confined raccoon causes the raccoon to perish at the hands of territorial males nearby.

5. Climate

Raccoons frequently spend time in regions with severe winters. In the winter, a raccoon won’t hibernate. Raccoons must develop unique adaptations in order to live.

Extreme weather conditions like snow and ice are a part of winter. Low temperatures and restricted food supply are a result.

Raccoons can enter a state of torpor when the temperature drops below 59 °F (15 °C). Raccoons benefit from a slowed metabolism, which enables them to rest and go long stretches without feeding.

Raccoons must locate a secure location to stay because they could be exposed to dangerous winter weather. To share body heat, raccoons frequently locate a den and make themselves comfortable there with a few other animals. Raccoons will probably freeze to death if they don’t have a good place to shelter.

Raccoons will have to battle the winter elements to acquire food if they did not accumulate enough fat over the summer and fall. Death from famine, exhaustion, or hypothermia are common outcomes of this.

How to help wild raccoons live longer

Raccoons in the wild don’t live very long. The infections they catch in the wild are the main cause of this, but human influences also play a significant role. There are a few methods you can coexist peacefully with the neighborhood raccoons, lessen your negative effects on them, and aid their continued survival.

Let’s look at 5 methods you can prolong the lives of wild raccoons.

1. Prevent Injury

You can’t stop raccoons from being killed by predatory animals. However, you can lessen the danger that your dog might provide to them. Raccoons might get hurt if dogs fight them when they intrude in your yard.

You can reduce the risk of harm to any animal by keeping your dogs inside while raccoons may be out foraging. Preventing your dog from attacking raccoons is in their best interests. This is so that dogs won’t become sick from the diseases that raccoons can spread to them.

2. Don’t Feed them

Raccoons will forage for food in your yard. It’s crucial that you don’t tempt them into your yard by providing them with food.

Food sources include bird seed, outside pet food, garbage cans, vegetable gardens, and leftover party food.

Raccoons will continue to frequent your yard if they know it is a simple place to find food. Raccoons could suffer from nutritional deficits as a result of consuming food that was not meant for them. Raccoons may develop hostile toward humans if they don’t provide them with food since they associate humans with food.

3. Deter Humanely

You don’t want raccoons loitering around your yard since they are an annoyance and a danger to your health.

Raccoons can be humanely discouraged from entering your yards without being killed. See my list of 14 simple methods to keep raccoons out of your yard.

One raccoon killed or captured won’t make the issue go away. That one will be gone, but if raccoons continue to find your yard to be appealing, another one will just take its place.

4.  Don’t relocate

The act of trapping and moving a raccoon almost always results in its death, thus you should never do it. In the first two months after being moved, almost 50% of the raccoons perish.

A moved raccoon will have to explore new territory and will probably come under attack from any other raccoons or predators that are already there. Additionally, they will need to locate food supplies in an unfamiliar location.

A female raccoon with a litter of dependent youngsters could also be captured. If the mother is taken away, the young will either starve to die or become easy prey for predators in the area.

5. Find a rehabber

Call a wildlife rehabilitator for advise on what to do if you come across orphaned, ill, or injured raccoons.

These people are experts in helping distressed wildlife. They’ll be able to gather and properly care for the raccoon. Depending on the problem, they might be able to heal the raccoon and then release it back into the wild.

Never attempt to capture a wild raccoon and transport it to a rehabber; instead, get in touch with them and let them know where the animal is. This protects you from any danger that a raccoon under stress might pose to you.

Check out this list from the humane society to find a wildlife rehabilitator nearby.

How Long Do Wild Racoons Live?

Related Questions

How long do raccoons live in captivity?

In captivity, raccoons can live up to 20 years. The oldest raccoon held in captivity was 22 years old. Raccoons in captivity live longer because they are not subjected to the same pressures as those in the wild. They have a much better probability of surviving as a result.

In confinement, raccoons are safe from predators, have a consistent source of food, and may get medical attention for any illnesses they might catch. A confined raccoon will typically pass away from old age or illness.