June 22nd
Is It Strange For Raccoons To Be Out During The Day?

If you’re outside this summer enjoying the long awaited warm weather, there are countless wildlife species to admire. Whether you are bird watching in Victoria Park or witnessing squirrels jump along the trees from the comfort of your own backyard, there is always the chance you may see an unlikely furry friend - a raccoon.

Raccoons are nocturnal creatures, which is why many residents in the Kitchener Waterloo region are concerned when they see them out and about during the day. Although this behaviour is uncommon, it is not unnatural especially during the spring and summer months. Raccoons venture out during the day for a variety of reasons, and this blog is here to help you learn what exactly they’re doing..

Understanding Raccoons Daytime Activity

As nocturnal creatures, raccoons use the nighttime to avoid predators, collect food and find comfortable shelter. However, food, shelter and safety are not always guaranteed during the night. Sometimes, raccoons must use the daytime hours to find more available food or water sources. In other cases, a raccoon may have been scared or forced out of its den site, and is on route to an alternate one. During the springtime when raccoons are having their babies, mothers may use the daytime to move their babies to a safer location. With anywhere from seven to ten den sites in any given community, racoons and their families have a variety of options. 

Raccoons are brave little creatures, and they have adapted well to urban settings. In the Kitchener Waterloo region, there are an estimated 15 to 25 raccoons per square kilometer. With all that competition over resources, some raccoons are forced to use the daytime to find what was unavailable at night. While raccoons' eyes are equipped with special lenses to see well at night, they have no difficulty navigating the world with the help of daylight either.

How Do I Know If A Raccoon Is Sick?

Now that you’ve spotted a raccoon outside during the day, you may be wondering how to tell if it is sick or in need of professional assistance. Healthy raccoons are active and busy creatures, acting with purpose and appearing busy during the day or night. A sick raccoon can exhibit a variety of symptoms. The most common you may see include:

  • Looking confused or disoriented 
  • Making strange noises
  • Losing its fear of humans
  • Disoriented walking
  • Foaming at the mouth 

How Can I Help A Sick Raccoon? 

Whether a raccoon is sick or healthy the safest thing for you and for them is distance. Wild animals may act defensively when they feel threatened, which could result in scratches or bites. If you see a raccoon out during the day or night that is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, contact your local animal control service or humane society immediately, and do your best to keep any pets, children or other wildlife away from the infected animal.

By educating ourselves on the common habits of urban wildlife, we can better understand why they act the way they do. It’s always important to keep your distance and never feed wildlife, since it is not always obvious what diseases or illnesses they may be carrying. Together, we can coexist peacefully with urban wildlife, and keep each other safe in the process.

This is a guest post from Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control. To learn more about them and their work, please visit their website