Baby Raccoon Born at Debrecen Zoo

Even if the Debrecen Zoo is the home of the largest raccoon population in Hungary, the arrival of a new-born raccoon was quite a surprise.

The little raccoon named Simon was born on the 1st of June blind and with an initial weight of only 63 grams. He is hand-raised by the ZOO keepers and needs to be fed with kitten formula every 2 hours for now. Once he turns 2 months old, he will receive a normal “adult” raccoon food.

He requires regular bathing, nursing, and feeding.  Raccoons are recognized by their iconic black-and-white striped tails and black “mask”. Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are one of the 18 species belonging to the family Procyionidae.

They are native to the Americas, specifically the areas with bodies of water nearby, but they also began to populate Europe, especially Germany, in the 1930s. They are highly adaptive, they thrive wherever there are human populations. In Hungary, raccoons are considered an invasive species; and their presence in the wild is rather insignificant, but it is forbidden by state law to keep them as pets since 2010.

They are threatened primarily by excessive hunting, as well as frequent road accidents in their historic ranges. Raccoons are included in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

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ZOO visitors can see Simon and the other raccoons soon, in the framework of the “Animals in Action” program organized by the Debrecen Zoo.