Mother raccoons are not an animal you want to mess with: These fiercely protective creatures will do anything for their young. While raccoons shouldn’t be approached at any time of the year, approaching a pregnant raccoon is a particularly bad idea. How do you tell if a raccoon is pregnant? Keep reading to learn how and what you should do about it. Remember, raccoon removal should only be done by professionals.
Raccoons are usually solitary creatures, with some evidence hinting at gender-specific groups. Females, in particular, stick together in small social groups, also known as “fission-fusion” groups. They share a common area and meet up at feeding or resting grounds. Once they become pregnant, however, they completely separate themselves from the others.
Female raccoons then become very isolated during pregnancy. While these animals don’t always prefer to be alone and may cluster in families, a pregnant raccoon is all about her “me” time. She separates herself from other raccoons to nest in a safe place that protects her kits from predators, where she can nurse them in privacy until they’re ready to leave the nest.
Mother raccoons want to ensure their cubs are familiar with different dens and feeding grounds in the home range, and isolating herself at this stage is a part of that process. After the cubs are old enough to protect and fend for themselves, the mother will rejoin other raccoons.
Knowing the time of season raccoons mate can better answer the question: How do you tell if a raccoon is pregnant? January to June is the usual period for raccoon mating, from January to March
Climate and environmental factors sometimes play a role in the mating season, with breeding sometimes occurring late in the winter. If the female raccoon doesn’t become pregnant when she’s fertile, she’ll come into estrus again in four months, and can even give birth late into the summer. The period above, however, is common for Ontario raccoons.
During breeding season, male raccoons will be in constant search of a fertile female. This period usually lasts four days for female raccoons, giving male raccoons a short timeline to work with. Females usually mate with just one male raccoon.
Female raccoons can begin breeding as early as the first year, and yearly after that, giving birth to only one litter per year. Raccoon mothers have a 65-day gestation period, birthing one to eight kits in a litter. These kits remain with the mother until around 13-14 months of age. Males have no part in the pregnancy, leaving
If you’ve been asking yourself, “how do you tell if a raccoon is pregnant?”, and the above notes seem to add up, your next question is likely: “how do I lessen the damage of this situation?”
Unfortunately, you should avoid removing a pregnant raccoon from her location. At this point, she’s pretty established, having formed a nest for her babies. She is fully comfortable in her current spot. Your best option is to wait until the pregnancy is over when the babies are old enough to survive on their own. You want to avoid direct confrontation with the animal, for your own safety and for theirs.
To make sure the mother and her cubs are removed together, call professional wildlife removal services. They know the safest ways to evict raccoons from your home without causing undue harm or stress to the animal. In the case of babies, they make sure the cubs remain with their mother during the eviction process. Animal removal services also know where to relocate the family for the optimal chance of survival.