What Are Some Tips for Buying Baby Raccoons in Tennessee?


Quick Answer

People cannot legally buy or possess baby raccoons in Tennessee, according to Tennessee Code Annotated 70-4-401 and 70-4-403 because raccoons are Class II wildlife under those statutes. Class II wildlife includes any species native to Tennessee, and raccoons are a native species.

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Full Answer

Raccoons are 16 to 28 inches long at maturity and reach a weight of 8 to 20 pounds. The mammals' coats are gray in color with a black facial mask. They have a heavy undercoat to protect them from cold and dexterous front paws.

Captive raccoons may live up to 20 years, but wild raccoons only have a life expectancy of 1.8 to 3.1 years. Only half of raccoons born live beyond the first year, and distemper is the most frequent cause of death for wild raccoons of all ages. Natural predators include great horned owls, bobcats and coyotes. Other causes of death include hunters and vehicles.

Raccoons are omnivores and primarily reside in deciduous and mixed forests from Canada to Panama, but may be found in mountainous landscapes and coastal marshes. They avoid open areas because they climb trees or other structures when threatened, and they prefer to make their winter dens in tree hollows. Raccoons also reside in urban areas, such as Washington, D.C., Toronto and Chicago. Many residents consider urban raccoons pests.

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