Raccoons are seen during the daylight hours often in the Springtime. Maine Wildlife Management gets several calls each year for raccoons that appear rabid. They tend to look in poor condition with hair falling out, stumbling around the yard, and even aggression. These are all good sign that the animal is not doing very well. However, the could could also be perfectly fine.
Raccoons breed in the winter months between January and April, with most activity peaking in February. Female raccoons have a two month gestation period before giving birth to 2-4 young. It always seems that calls for rabid raccoons coincides with the time for raccoon births around May. This means the mother will be hanging around in the same area for awhile while she nurses her young. Raccoons typically use several different dens within their home range, and only hole up during extreme weather or when raising young raccoons.
Raccoons will begin losing their winter coat in early Spring, The shedding of the old fur can give them a rather haggard look. They may not be sick, but just undergoing the annual changing of clothes. Also, raccoons that have just given birth and been nursing for a few days are likely hungry themselves. Hunger is a great driver of behavior and will cause females to leave the nest and search for food even during the middle of the day. A raccoon out and about during the day is not necessarily a sign that the raccoon is rabid.
Aggression may very well be higher as well if a female is feeling threatened and feels the need to protect her young. Including aggression towards people. She may have just chosen a poor location to have her den site. Raccoons are wild animals. Aggression in wild animals is not necessarily a consequence of disease. It could be a result of hunger, thirst, or protection of young. Would you mess with a momma bear with cubs? Probably not.
Don’t play with wild raccoons, whether they have rabies or not!
Rabies is nothing to play with. If left untreated, the results are always fatal to the host. If you suspect you have a rabid raccoon in your yard give Maine Wildlife Management a call today. 852-2559. We offer raccoon trapping and relocation services at great rates. However, not all raccoons are actually rabid, and we may just have a family issue we need to find a new home for.