Raccoons are some of the most resourceful mammals in North America.
Despite their reputation for eating garbage and the “Trash Panda” nickname that comes with it, they’re incredibly intelligent, and capable of utilizing their surroundings to the fullest extent in order to survive, or better yet, thrive.
Native to North American forests, raccoons are the largest of the procyonid family, which includes coatis, kinkajous, olingos and other cute fury critters.
However, raccoons are now also thriving across cities, suburbs, and other wild places, including mountainous regions, swamps and marshes. They have also been introduced in Central Europe as well as Japan.
Though primarily nocturnal, raccoons are occasionally active during daylight for the sake of finding food… which they are great at.
Omnivorous animals by nature, they will eat just about anything, including plants, seeds, fruits, nuts, insects, grubs, worms, fish, turtles, snakes, frogs, toads, birds, and eggs.
Raccoons are pretty much always on the prowl for food and are capable of climbing, swimming, and figuring out complex tasks like prying open garbage cans or breaking into bird feeders.
But because of their relatively small to medium size, raccoons are also popular food sources for a lot of different predators, most commonly bobcats and coyotes. But depending on the area, they can fall prey to bears, wolves, mountains lions and even some large predatory birds such as eagles and owls.
And in the southern swamp regions of Florida and Louisiana… alligators.
For this particular raccoon, it was a close call, but he was successfully able to dodge an attack as onlookers warned him of the lurking gator.
Only in Florida….
Apparently, these two run into each other more often than you’d think.
Here’s a similar scene were onlookers try to warn this little trash panda of his impending doom, only to have the raccoon and the gator spook each other and dart off in opposite directions: