Island Critters:

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People wonder what lives in the marsh and hammocks around the river. One of those critters is the cute little raccoon. There are seven species of raccoons in the new world, five live on tropical islands, one in the Yucatan. They are omnivorous, eating fish, frogs, clams, crayfish, termites, ant larvae, mice, insects and fruit, berries, nuts and vegetables. They live approximately 6 years although some may live as long as 16 years. The females give birth to 1-7 young after a 2 month long pregnancy. The adults usually weigh about 20-25 pounds with the males larger than the females. (One captive raccoon got to be as large as 62 pounds.)

Raccoons are notorious for clever nighttime raids on garbage cans, campsites, and water faucets. Their almost hand-like front paws with their long, thin mobile fingers allow them to get into all kinds of trouble. They use these hands to catch their food and often appear to wash their their hands and food before eating it. However, they can carry some diseases, including rabies, which can be transmitted to humans and pets so it is unwise to approach wild raccoons.

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