Do Raccoons Use Tools?

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Raccoons are very clever animals that are tremendously resourceful and skilled at adapting to their surroundings, and one of the interesting things about the species is that they have a great amount of dexterity in their paws. There are also plenty of examples of raccoons that have been kept and trained in captivity, and one of the interesting aspects is that they can be trained to use simple tools, when there is the motivation of being able to get food.

The Intelligence Of The Raccoon

Because raccoons have long evolved to be a species that adapts to its surroundings, the ability to learn different tactics and approaches to obtaining food have proven to be successful for the raccoon. This is particularly useful as the species has found that many of its traditional habitats and feeding grounds have become fewer, so they have had to adapt to living and surviving in a region where they are having to scavenge food from urban and suburban areas instead of their natural rural habitats.

The Importance Of A Raccoon's Paws

The tremendous dexterity that is to be found in the paws of the raccoons has helped them to learn to use things that they were not necessarily designed to understand. If you have ever witnessed a raccoon eating, you will see that it likes to dip its food in water before consuming it, and seeing how it rotates and handles the food is actually quite impressive, and shows just how useful those paws are to the species.

Using Items Created By Humans

While raccoons may be trained to use tools for entertainment purposes, it is also worth noting that even in the wild they can adapt to using tools that have been created by people, and they are particularly creative in learning how to get in to these areas. From learning how to use handles to remove the lid from a garbage can, to operating handles that open pet food stores, with the right motivation the raccoons can learn to use tools created by people.

Dealing With A Raccoon That Keeps Returning To Your Yard

If you are finding that a raccoon is constantly returning to your yard, it can be worthwhile trying to watch the raccoon to see what it is doing, and if it is finding a particular food source in the yard. If so, you can take steps to secure that food source, such as locking pet food stores, or using bungee cords to secure the lid on a garbage can. If it is becoming a real nuisance, cage traps can be used to catch the raccoon and it can then be relocated a good distance away from your home.

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