Nature Notes

Vol. IX August 15, 1931 No. 8

Racoons like Candy

One of the most interesting animals found in Mount Rainier National Park is the Raccoon. They are friendly little fellows and many of them are household pets around Longmire. Children of the community delight in feeding the Raccoons that come to the doors of their homes each evening for the hand-outs they may receive.

This Ranger-Naturalist had a very entertaining time the other evening when he placed a few pieces of peppermint candy on a stump near the front of his cabin. After a little coaxing, and calling, an old mother Raccoon who lives under another cabin nearby, was persuaded to come out and sample the candy. She evidently liked it, for she ate a few pieces greedily and then took a piece or two home to her young. They, too, seemed to like it, for the first time they had ever been seen to venture outside was that evening, when they came out from under the house and started towards the stump on which the candy had been placed.

The old mother was not convinced, however, that her young were old enough to venture forth into this big cruel world of ours, so, with a gruff growl she sent them scurrying back to their nest. The three youngsters were not satisfied, however, with the service their mother gave in bringing the choice food to them, as she stayed and ate too much and too long between trips. So they ventured out again, gained the stump, and helped themselves, as they possibly felt that young Raccoons of their age should. This time the mother let them stay, but sat upright there on the stump with her head high, alert for danger, while her children cleaned up the candy that was left. Then the last bit of candy was gone, the mother jumped from her perch and with a little throaty call scurried away, two of the young after her. One, apparently the bad boy of the family, lingered, and thoroughly scanned the stump for crumbs before he heeded her call.

--E. Y. Danner,


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