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Key to a Raccoon’s Success: Opposable Thumbs?

Why are raccoons able to thrive so well in so many varying environments? Is it their opposable thumbs? What makes their behaviour so human-like? Questions like these are frequently answered by experts like those at Skedaddle who, of course, are aware that knowledge of the keys to raccoon survival is crucial to providing humane raccoon removal.

Let’s Hammer out the Opposable Thumb Idea

If you’ve bought into the urban legend of a raccoon’s opposable thumb then you’ll be surprised to find out they actually don’t have opposable thumbs. It’s easy to see why people would think they do though. If you observe a raccoon’s paw prints, you’ll certainly notice that it resembles the handprint of a small child. Not only that but if you got the opportunity to examination raccoon’s paw you’d notice that it has five sections and the one that would be equivalent to the human thumb along with the one that would be equivalent to the human pinkie finger are very flexible- not as flexible in motion as human hands but more so than the typical animal. Both ‘fingers’ on a raccoon’s can move as far as to the palm of the paw. No wonder the opposable thumb idea came about!

How Raccoons Use Their Human-like Paws

So the secret is out… or at least part of it.  Raccoons are able to grasp, rip twist and grab along with other maneuvers that we consider to be human in nature. The next time you find yourself marveling at a raccoon’s ability to grab and remove your bin covers, remember those semi-human paws.

In addition to having paws that closely resemble human hands in appearance and function, the animals are quite adept at using their paws. This results in them accomplishing feats that we believe only animals with opposable thumbs can achieve. With such amazing paws, trees and buildings cannot deter them from getting to food that is perched high. They find their way into buildings that other animals cannot get into and they can get into packages that you think you have sealed perfectly.

Another humanlike tendency of raccoons is the washing of food before eating it and rubbing it against their body in the absence of water.

Nature’s perfect Survivalists

A raccoons human-like behaviour can be attributed to more than just its near-human palm. The little critters are very adaptable, which means that as soon as their environment changes, they change their feeding, nesting and roaming habits accordingly.

Humane Raccoon Removal- A Win-Win Solution

Even though raccoons can prove to be the most annoying and persistent invaders, requiring greater effort to control than other wildlife, they have a place in our delicate ecosystem. And this is one reason the humane approach to raccoon removal is approved and even recommended by many animal control experts in Canada and around the world.

Humane raccoon removal methods help to ensure that these unique and fascinating creatures still have a future on planet earth while also ensuring that property owners benefit from a raccoon-free environment.


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About the author:Founder of Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control in 1989. Canada's largest urban wildlife removal and exclusion company. Industry leader and pioneer. Split, Scram, Scoot! However you want to say it, Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control has helped over 200,000 home owners and businesses safely and effectively resolve their wildlife issues. Happy to discuss business and franchising opportunities

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