International Raccoon Appreciation Day is a special holiday that focuses on the importance of fur-bearing animals. On October 1st, people come together to celebrate and educate others on why raccoons deserve respect.
Raccoons have long been viewed as pests, however, they are critical to the ecosystem. They help to keep nature clean by consuming carrion, they spread seeds, they are predators, and they help to regulate the population of other animals. The holiday was founded by a girl from California in 2002. She was shocked to learn that people were exterminating and caging raccoons and wanted to inform people of the importance of these animals. Her idea was taken up by other activists and since then, International Raccoon Appreciation Day has been celebrated around the world.
Did you know that raccoons:
- are distant relatives to bears;
- have an excellent fur coat, composed of 90% thick undercoat which allows them to survive low temperatures;
- have amazing knuckles on their hind legs that can bend up to 180 degrees;
- hibernate in winter, but their sleep is shallow;
- are friendly, active, and inquisitive, but prefer solitude, especially during hibernation;
- have a black “mask” around their eyes that helps them to see better in the dark, as it absorbs light and eliminates glare.
How to take part
On International Raccoon Appreciation Day, zoos often host special events, such as exhibits and workshops, as well as accept donations. Check to see if there are any events happening in your city and be sure to take part if you can. Spread the word about this important day by telling your friends and family and watching movies about animals with your kids.
When is International Raccoon Appreciation Day in 2022?
International Raccoon Appreciation Day is observed on October 1 each year.