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What Eats Raccoons? (9 Top Predators)

What animal eats raccoons? They’re an easy target for many animals like foxes, wolves, coyotes, ocelots, lynx, crocodiles, snakes, eagles, as well as bears.

What Eats Raccoons

Raccoons are one of the most preyed on animals in the world. They’re not particularly fast nor strong, so they present an easy chance for other animals to get food. Almost all animals in its habitat that are larger than the raccoon are able to catch it and eat it.

To get a better understanding of what animals eat raccoons, it’s best to take a look at their habitat first. They’re primarily native to mixed forests, but they’re adaptable and are capable of living in urban and suburban areas, forests near cities, and even the mountains. This means that even though they can live almost anywhere, they’re still hunted on often.

These are the top animals that eat raccoons.

What Eats Raccoons? (9 Top Predators)

1. Foxes

Argentine Gray Fox

Foxes are only a bit larger than raccoons, but still able to catch them. They use the important mechanism of staying hidden for as long as possible before they attack the raccoon, giving it little chance to prepare.

Raccoons and foxes often co-exist in the same habitats. But once winter comes around, foxes are on the lookout for additional food that will sustain them through the winter. That’s when they won’t be particularly choosy about what they can eat, so they’ll hunt down raccoons, even though they’re not an easy target for them.

2. Wolves

wolves

Wolves represent by far the biggest threat for the raccoons in the wild. In foresty areas of North America, Europe, and Asia, wolves and raccoons often share habitats. And wolves are always on the lookout for new food, so they travel in packs and at night.

That’s when raccoons will hide in their dens in order to avoid getting attacked. Most of the time, they’ll try to defend themselves fiercely, but when wolves attack, there’s not much that raccoons can do against them.

A wolf is larger, stronger, and faster than a raccoon, so if it comes down to a race, the smaller animal will stand no chance. If wolves sniff out raccoons and they get a track of them, the raccoons are doomed, even though they’ll try to look fierce and fight back.

3. Bears

A bear pair
A bear pair

Bears also represent a big threat to raccoons. When these large carnivores get hungry, they won’t pick their food. Although most of the time, they’ll prefer to eat other larger animals around them such as deer or elks.

But raccoons can be a nice snack for bears and their cubs, so they won’t skip a chance to catch them. Bears are quite agile, although raccoons might be able to escape if it’s fast enough to recognize the threat.

4. Coyotes

coyote

The coyote packs are also a great threat to the raccoons. These will travel at night, although they’re also actively by day if there’s not much food around. And that’s when raccoons might be vulnerable to coyote attacks, especially if they’re outside their dens.

A coyote is only a bit larger than the raccoon, but it has far more advanced hunting mechanisms. One of the main ways that coyotes use to hunt down raccoons is through sheer speed. So they’ll try to invite the raccoon out in the open in order to arrange a race, where there’s only one winner.

5. Lynx

lynx

The lynx is also a part of the raccoon’s habitat. They live in mountains and in forests where raccoons are also quite common. They’ve enabled themselves to survive in these habitats as they’re often pushed out of the cities, but they’re also hunted in forests in lower areas, so they must retreat to higher grounds.

But there are also other predators in those areas, such as the mountain lynx. This animal, like most other wild cats, will put its senses to good use to find out the raccoons and hunt them down.

6. Crocodiles and Alligators

Saltwater Crocodile

These are not as common as some other predators, but the crocodile and alligator are also potential predators if they live in the same habitat. Like other carnivorous reptiles, the crocodile and alligator are dangerous propositions to any other animal that come in contact with it.

And raccoons sometimes find themselves in the way of crocodiles and alligators. This is especially true for the swampy areas in North, Central, and South America. They’ll eat raccoons of any age and size.

But the truth is also that raccoons can represent a nuisance for the crocodiles because raccoons will actively look for crocodile hatchlings and eat them. That’s why crocodiles and alligators will try to eliminate the danger that comes in the shape of raccoons.

7. Snakes

black snake

Snakes, especially larger snakes that often dive into the water, are also common predators of raccoons. These animals, especially pythons, will eat a raccoon without too many problems. They can swallow it whole, although they’ll need to squeeze them first so they’re dead.

Other snakes such as cobras and other larger snakes also have the potential to catch raccoons. This predatory behavior is especially visible in some South American countries.

8. Eagles

golden eagle

Eagles are also strong enough to eat raccoons, especially the smaller ones. As with most other species, raccoons will have little or no chance when a large eagle strikes from above. The eagle might blow several strikes before the raccoon dies, or it might carry it around in its claws before killing it.

9. Cougars

cougar

In some habitats, cougars and raccoons will encounter each other – and these encounters don’t usually end well for the smaller animal, which is the raccoon in this case. Cougars have enough strength and agility to hunt down a raccoon even if it tries to run away or fight back.

Raccoons are also Hunters!

Raccoons are also carnivores, so they’re hunters themselves, although they’ll rarely eat animals that are as big as themselves.

Raccoons will eat smaller birds such as chicken and turkeys, especially the baby specimens of these two species. They’ll also feed on smaller reptiles such as lizards or iguanas.

There have also been records of raccoons attacking smaller cats, especially domestic ones. Most adult cats are able to fight back successfully, although smaller cats are often hunted by the raccoons.

The spread of raccoons in urban areas has become a big issue for some people because they tend to spread diseases to other animals, especially domestic cats. That’s why humans often kill raccoons in urban areas in order to minimize the risk of cats contracting these diseases that raccoons carry.

Conclusion

Raccoons are not everyone’s cup of tea – in urban areas, they’re often seen as a nuisance more than a helpful animal. That’s why humans actively hunt them down and kill them.

But in the wild, raccoons are actively hunted by almost any other animal that’s larger than itself in stature and is of carnivorous nature. This includes wolves, coyotes, wild cats, bears, snakes, eagles, foxes, and in some areas, crocodiles.

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