Lots of people believe that a raccoon that is outside and active throughout the day has rabies. Individuals know that raccoons are nocturnal animals, and are usually only active at nighttime. If a raccoon is out and about during the day instead of night, something is wrong, right?
While it’s true that a wild raccoon will exhibit a variety of unusual behaviors, activity during daytime is most definitely not a guaranteed sign of rabies. You see, although raccoons are primarily nighttime, they do frequently get some stuff done during the day. It is not at all uncommon for a raccoon to be active in the middle of the day. They can’t just sleep from dawn to sunset without doing anything. They might go off in search of food or beverage. This is especially true of nursing female raccoons, who have a bunch of babies to look after, and who have additional dietary requirements because they are nursing their young. In the spring, you’re sure to see some female raccoons collecting extra food throughout the day, so that they can produce more milk.
How Can I Tell If a Raccoon Has Rabies?
Raccoons with rabies are extremely sick. Mostly, they are lethargic. Their walk may be irregular, or their legs disabled. They might be strolling in circles or tipping over, or stumbling in an unnatural fashion. In other words, they simply look sick. If you see a raccoon outside when it’s light out, and it looks nimble, alert, is running or foraging in a smooth and coordinated and regular way, then you can be almost sure that it does not have rabies. This doesn’t mean that you must approach it and give it a lick of your ice cream cone, but you probably have absolutely nothing to fret about.
What to Do If I See a Raccoon in Broad Daylight
If you see a raccoon, no matter what time of day, leave it alone. Never try to feed it or approach it. Seeing a raccoon out in the day isn’t an instant cause for alarm. There are numerous reasons why this nocturnal animal might be out and about. If you reside in a city setting, or if the year has been bad for food, raccoons will alter their routines to fit when food is most offered. If you constantly put your garbage out at 1:00 in the afternoon, the raccoons in the area will learn that. A raccoon out in the daytime that is hanging out in your yard, seems extremely friendly, is acting unstable, lethargic, or is walking in odd patterns, ought to be reported to the authorities. Many police stations will come out and shoot a raccoon that may be ill. The body is then sent to the health department where it will be evaluated for possible infectious illnesses. Aside from odd habits, seeing a raccoon out in daylight does not always indicate the creature is ill. People are active primarily during the day, however, if you get up to go to the restroom in the middle of the night, you hope your neighbor doesn’t presume you are strange.
Is a Raccoon That Is Active During the Daytime Dangerous?
Seldom is a raccoon rabid when it is active during the daytime. While daytime behavior could be an indicator of rabies, discovering a raccoon during the day isn’t adequate proof to qualify that raccoon as rabid.
Rabid raccoons do exhibit irregular habits, consisting of walking around throughout the day, however finding one throughout the lighter hours isn’t sufficient to call a raccoon rabid. Depending on the time of year, it’s likely that a diurnal raccoon could be taking part in the mating season if it has actually not done so already. Furthermore, a mother raccoon out with her kits throughout the day is more than likely taking them on a hunting journey, to show them how to forage.
There are a variety of reasons that raccoons will venture out into the sunshine. If a daytime raccoon is in fact rabid, it is easily recognizable from its healthy counterparts. There are numerous, obvious signs of an ill raccoon which the majority of people can see immediately, with careful observation and a little forehand knowledge.
Differences Between a Healthy and Rabid Raccoon
Regular raccoons act intentionally, with steady physical movements, but ill raccoons will appear disoriented and have actually been known to walk in circles, stagger, and even fall over. Ill raccoons will appear sluggish, overly aggressive, or overly friendly (though this may also be true of raccoons adjusted to being fed by human beings).
Caution must be exercised around all wildlife, including raccoons. If you encounter a raccoon in the daytime, do not go near it. Most of the time, a healthy raccoon out and about will be on its merry way without a human’s intervention. If it appears that the animal is foraging from local dumpsters or garbage cans, try locking the covers or putting them out at various times of the day. The problem will then solve itself.
What to Do If I See the Same Raccoon
If you find a raccoon denning itself up in your house, e.g. in your attic, call a regional raccoon removal professional for assistance. Raccoons left uncontrolled can cause extreme damage to homes, leaving property owners with massive repair expenses.
If you believe a raccoon is sick, contact animal control right away. Just those who are accredited to do so may tranquilize any animal, in order to evaluate the animal’s needs and put them down if essential. If you are not exactly sure, call a local wildlife rehabilitator, and they can help you determine whether the animal needs help.
Raccoon Feces Photos