• Beach walkway to white sandy beach and bluegreen waters

    Gulf Islands

    National Seashore FL,MS

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Those Roguish Raccoons

Raccoon looking out of a hollow tree.

Raccoon looking out of a hollow tree.

Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are easily identified by their black eye masks and bushy ringed tails. They are thought to have over 200 communication sounds! There is evidence from fossils that suggest the raccoon inhabited the U.S. as far back as one million years and has changed very little.

In the wild, these mostly nocturnal animals live about three to eight years. They are omnivorous, eating fish, frogs, and insects and also fruit, berries and nuts. Raccoons are highly intelligent and have a well know reputation for their curiosity and clever nighttime raids. With their almost hand-like front paws and long, thin mobile fingers, these agile climbers can learn to open jars, cans and latches, turn on faucets, untie knots, turn doorknobs and get into all kinds of fun and mischievousness.

They especially love camper's sweet foods and drinks. So please take extra care and do not feed the animals. Securely store all food and scented items in containers and coolers. Pack them away inside closed vehicles and campers. Try to keep dumpster lids closed at all times.

Did You Know?

The arches at Fort Massachusetts are made of red and tan bricks.

Gulf Islands National Seashore's Fort Massachusetts, on West Ship Island 12 miles off the Mississippi coastline, was covered by the 30-foot storm surge from Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. The fort has been reopened to the public.