U.S. President Calvin Coolidge had a pet raccoon named Rebecca, though the raccoon belonged more to First Lady Grace Coolidge, who would bring Rebecca out to events and pose for photos with her. Raccoons are an uncommon but not unheard of pet choice for less famous individuals as well. Raccoons tend to be friendly to humans as babies, but they can become more aggressive as they grow older, particularly during mating season.
Raccoons may have poor eyesight, but they possess strong hearing and an excellent sense of smell. Raccoons are also very skilled climbers and can fall from heights as great as 40 feet. Raccoons are very intelligent and capable of untying shoes and opening doors and cages. Their nimble paws make them capable of grasping tiny items, such as loose change, and they hold and eat their food in a manner quite similar to humans.
The raccoon’s scientific name is Procyon lotor, which means “washer dog.” This is a bit misleading as raccoons are actually more closely related to bears than dogs. Similar to bears, raccoons spend a lot of time in their dens during the winter months, though they don’t actually hibernate.Learn more about Genealogy