Raccoons, the Masked Bandits

Raccoons are sometimes called "masked bandits." They are known for their black face markings that look like eye masks. The masks, along with their night raids on garbage cans and gardens, make people think of masked robbers.

A female raccoon may give birth to one to seven babies. The mother takes care of her kits (or cubs) by herself. The kits cannot see or hear until they are about three weeks old. At birth, though, the black mask can already be seen. Raccoons are mammals. The mother feeds her babies milk from her body. At about four months, the babies are ready to hunt with their mother. The kits often stay close to their mother for their first year. After that, most raccoons live alone.

Raccoons are omnivores. They eat almost anything! Raccoons eat nuts, fruit, and plants. They eat frogs, crayfish, earthworms, and insects. They eat bird and turtle eggs. They will even eat fish and small rodents. Some will eat dead animals or "road kill." If there's water nearby, raccoons often seem to wash their food. You can often see their footprints in mud along a body of water.

. . . Print Entire Reading Comprehension with Questions