Raccoon-poloskun: cheerful clean
Rings on the tail
We often hear, especially from hunters, that raccoons live in our forests. However, with the same success it can be said that lions or tigers live in Central Russia. Because the animal from our forests is not a raccoon, but a raccoon dog, which was once imported from the Far East. There is a definite similarity, but, as they say, “a pig looks like a hedgehog, only the wool is not like that”! A real raccoon is the same relative to a dog, like a cat, that is, in general, no. Consequently, in the European part of Russia the raccoon is not fully inhabited, or rather, and not the raccoon at all, but the abbreviation: those who were too lazy to move their tongues, pronouncing the raccoon dog, reduced it to the first four letters. And she went to write the province, and still writes!
And the “same” raccoon is a resident of America, many thousands of years ago settled in the territory where Canada, the United States and Mexico now comfortably settled. The black half mask on the face distinguishes it, because of the same and raccoon dog got its name, however, the badger has it, the ferrets of different, and some other small predators. But the tail, studded with black rings, will be recognized by the raccoon. In general, striped tails distinguish almost all members of the raccoon family. Suffice it to recall the South American nosuha or crabeater raccoon (it looks like a northern brother, only short-cropped), as well as an Asian little panda close to the raccoons.
Habit to rinse
In winter, raccoons go to sleep in the hollows of trees and sometimes 25 kilograms are eaten off by this pore, but this is a record. They sleep awake sensitively and easily, so that their hibernation is not complete. In general, these animals are cheerful and mobile. Cleverly climb trees, despite the apparent clumsiness, and love to play. By nature, they are active predators, but they eat everything edible that turns up on the way. They usually sleep during the day and hunt at night, but where they are not pursued, they walk around during the daytime.
Raccoons live in the forests along the banks of reservoirs, swim excellently and are generally very closely related to water. A characteristic feature of the search for food gave them the name “poluskun” among people. Paws of a raccoon with thin sensitive fingers are in almost constant motion, like the hands of an eager laundress. The animal lowers them into the water and with a detached view feels the bottom in search of mollusks, frogs, crayfish and all sorts of larvae. From the side of the full impression that he started washing. This habit is so ingrained in the nature of poluskun that he drags into the water and prey found on the ground. So far no one can explain this, at least cleanliness has nothing to do with it.
The habit of rinsing everything and constantly fumbling with its front paws in front of it is preserved by the poluskuns and in captivity, where they put food in the feeder. It comes to the point of absurdity: the animals begin to “wash” cookies and sugar, and then they are terribly surprised: where did the delicacy go?
In fairness, we note that it is possible to meet the raccoon poloskun and far from America. As a result of shoots and deliberate acclimatization in the mid-twentieth century, raccoons successfully settled in the expanses of Europe and Asia. So, in the period from 1936 to 1958 in the territory of nine regions of the former USSR raccoons were released into nature in order to enrich the hunting fauna. Two attempts were successful: in the south of Belarus in 1954-58 and in Azerbaijan in the period from 1941 to 1957. Transcaucasia especially attracted invaders: already in 1974 their number there reached 20 thousand individuals!
After the animated series “Raccoon Raskal” passed on Japan’s television screens in 1977, the Land of the Rising Sun was seized by the boom of an enomania. The young Japanese wanted to have the same glorious fluffy friend as the boy from the cartoon, and local pet stores sold up to 1,500 poloskuns every year. Not all of these pets came to taste – after all, there were among the animals and aggressive individuals. In short, by 2004, the descendants of raccoons thrown out or simply released into freedom inhabited 42 of 47 prefectures in Japan.
A stable poluskun population was formed in the north of France, and its history is curious. There was a US air base here, and some pilots kept hand raccoons at home as a living reminder of their native land. When in 1966 it was time for them to return home, the Yankees did not begin to issue veterinary certificates and other bureaucracies, but simply released hairy pets to the surrounding forest …
However, Germany has the largest number of free raccoons outside of North America. 27 years before the flight of Gagarin, on April 12, 1934, two pairs of poloskuns started a wild life in the north of the land of Hesse, starting to master the land of a local poultry farmer. Obviously, it never occurred to him that the raccoon loves chicken almost as passionately as a fox! However, acclimatization was then just a fashionable fad. Few people thought that new settlers could be harmful not only for agriculture, but also for the local animal world, sometimes causing irreparable damage to it.