Raccoons have lost the majority of their natural habitat because of unnecessary human intervention. That’s why they have adapted to live among humans and can easily be found living somewhere nearby you. But curiosity begins when they suddenly disappear and are then found dead. The question arises, “Where do Raccoons go to die?”
Raccoons don’t go to any specific place when they feel sick or unwell. Because of losing hiding sites in their natural habitat, they tend to hide somewhere in a human properties like chimneys and attics. Due to their big size, they can easily get stuck in these types of narrow spaces and may die there because of starvation or suffocation.
How Do Raccoons Usually Die?
Raccoons are highly intelligent and adaptable that’s why they easily manage to live under different circumstances. In wild, their average lifespan is 5 years but under favorable conditions, they can live up to 10 years. In captivity, they may live even much longer.
Despite the above-mentioned fact that Raccoons are tough and can survive longer, still, their population is decreasing.
The majority of their young ones are not surviving more than 2 years. Naturally, they die because of extreme weather conditions, diseases, malnutrition, and natural predators.
Human intervention leading to the destruction of their natural habitat, trapping, and excessive hunting for their meat and fur is contributing to the rapid decrease of their population.
According to the IUCN Red List (2021), most the Raccoon species were listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered, and need protection so they may not extinct soon.
How Do You Know If A Raccoon Is Dying?
Raccoons in their healthy state are very active animals.
If you observe a raccoon showing signs of being sleepy, disoriented, or wandering around aimlessly during their active hours while additionally having some mucus discharge from the eyes, nose, or mouth then it is likely that they are not feeling well and must be infected with a disease or poisoned, which will cause them to die if left untreated.
If you are a Raccoon owner, always keep an eye on the changing physical conditions of the animal because Raccoons are primary carriers of many transmissible diseases like Rabies.
So the early detection of any disease may save you from any upcoming lethal illness.
Why Do Raccoons Die Inside Houses Or Attics?
Raccoons are famous for their intelligence and distinctive adaptability that has allowed them to survive in an urban environment.
Raccoons have lost the majority of their natural habitat because of unnecessary human interference, that’s why in recent years; they have become more adapted to living in human surroundings.
They love to use attics, chimneys, and basements as their dens as they feel secure over there. They also use them as their nesting place and give birth to young ones over there.
Raccoons use human property to live longer but mostly die over there. The places they feel secure for themselves are often quite narrow and these large animals usually hurt themselves while trying to hide there.
Because of getting injured and not getting enough chance to move, Raccoon may be stuck and die over there. If the mother Raccoon dies or is captured and removed from the site, then the offspring can’t survive on its own and eventually die.
What Causes Raccoons To Die?
Raccoons can live long if kept under ideal conditions. But in wild, their mortality rate is rapidly increasing in comparison to the past few years.
Other than natural factors including preyed upon by predators and drastically changing weather, studies have shown fatal diseases like Rabies, leptospirosis, and distemper are spreading swiftly in Raccoons leading to their increased death ratio.
Human intervention is also another major cause when we talk about Raccoon’s mortality.
Destruction of their natural habitat leading to scarcity of food, trapping, hunting for their fur and meat, poisoning to get rid of them, and accidental killings by automobiles in urban areas are the additional reasons that cause Raccoons to die.
Why Do Baby Raccoons Die?
If Raccoons are nesting on the human property, then mostly baby Raccoons die when mothers are caught and moved away from nesting sites leaving the litter behind. Up to the age of 1 year, baby Raccoons stay dependent on their mothers.
Newly born Raccoons are blind and deaf, so they are unable to feed or take care of themselves without the help of their mothers, resulting in their deaths because of starvation.
In wild, mother Raccoons remain highly attentive because predators like coyotes are fond of baby Raccoons and don’t miss a chance to kill and eat them.
What Happens To Dead Raccoons?
Raccoon’s body starts to rot within a few days after an animal dies, leaving behind a foul smell. If a Raccoon dies in a wild, as per nature’s law, it soon decomposes and all its body parts get recycled naturally.
But if a dead Raccoon is found in the human vicinity, then it has to be removed manually taking all the necessary precautions because this dead body may be infected with some serious diseases that can be easily transmitted to humans.
If you find a dead Raccoon nearby your surroundings, never try to touch it without gloves, and better to seek professional help immediately.
What Would Eat A Dead Raccoon?
Scavengers are the animals that feed upon the flesh of dead animals. In wild, dead Raccoons serve as a great meal for scavengers including vultures, hyenas, and Raccoons.
Raccoons don’t hesitate to feed upon their dead family members if they fail to find any other good food option. Small insects and microorganisms play a vital role in the decomposition of leftover body parts of a dead Raccoon.
Can A Raccoon Freeze To Death?
Raccoons are warm-blooded animals that can’t change their body temperatures. They can’t fight extreme weather condition, which is why they have adapted to fight extreme hot and cold.
Before winters, they store enough fat within their bodies and find a safe, warm shelter where they stay peacefully with other Raccoons, sharing their body heat so they may combat the harsh weather conditions.
If a Raccoon fails to store enough fat or find secure dens for itself before winters, then surely it will not be able to fight severe cold leading to hypothermia and may freeze to death.
Who Removes Dead Raccoons?
Removing a dead animal’s carcass is not a simple task. It needs special training of knowing the legal wildlife rules regarding animal death, hygienically and safely handling and removal of animal’s body.
If you find a dead Raccoon in your yard or nearby surroundings, never got close to it. Immediately call Wildlife removal specialists so they may come or guide you on how to safely remove a dead Raccoon.
How To Get Rid Of Dead Raccoon?
A dead Raccoon may start rotting within 2-3 days after its death, with a foul smell prevailing all around. If you ever encounter a Raccoon’s dead body, try to get rid of it as soon as possible.
Never try to touch it directly as it may carry many transmissible diseases that may cause serious illness. It is recommended to call professionals to dispose of the animal’s body, but in case it is difficult or not possible, then follow the necessary precautions while handling the dead animal.
- Always wear gloves before touching a body.
- Wear a mask to bear the smell and to minimize the risk of entering any pathogens through the nasal passage.
- Spray pesticide over animal’s body to decrease the chances of spread of external parasites.
- Always wrap an animal’s body in double plastic bags.
- Bury it in the ground so scavengers can’t become carriers for the pathogens that dead Raccoon carried.
- Immediately wash your hands with disinfectant soap and water after getting your job done.
Raccoons are highly adaptive animals famous for their intelligence. The way they live their lives has left an impact that they might plan their deaths as well. But the fact is the increased urbanization and human invasion has destroyed their habitats, forcing them to find man-made living and death sites for them rather than the natural ones.
In search of these, they get trapped and disappear so can’t be rescued, and eventually die leaving an impact that they choose their death sites themselves. Precautions should be taken if you have Raccoons in your surroundings so they won’t visit your place and live or die over there.
In case you ever get stuck in a situation where you have to handle a Raccoon’s dead body then be cautious. Better to call wildlife removal professionals that can assist and dispose of the dead body following the necessary protocols.
- Raccoons – IUCN Red List
- Raccoons bodies- Protocols for Safe Handling and Disposal of Carcasses