For a long time many residents of the National Park were puzzled to know what animal made the chattering barking sounds often heard about the stations in the middle of the night.
Recently the first snow fell at Longmire Springs. Next morning there were numerous trails here and there made by an animal whose hind foot left a track very much the shape of one by a tiny baby. They were 'coons', and 'coons' it was that had been barking in the night.
Racoons are among the cleverest and most interesting of mammals. Their attractive appearance and cunning ways make them splendid pets. They are good swimmers and spend much of their time near water. So sanitary is the 'coon' in his habits that every bit of feed must first be taken to the streams and washed before he will eat it. Being a nocturnal animal they are rarely seen except by people driving along the roads at night but they are quite abundant in all of the lower river valleys of the Park.
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