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Beautiful Louisiana Wildlife
Louisiana swamps are one of the most diverse environments in the United States. These densely foliaged wetlands are filled with incredible creatures and plant life. While swamp residents are exclusive to South Louisiana, other species are familiar to other regions. Raccoons, however, are one of the swamp’s most recognizable critters. While they are found all over the country, they have carved out a unique role for themselves in the world of the bayou. These brown, furry mammals thrive in the swamp thanks to the abundant water and diverse food sources.
How to Spot a Raccoon
Raccoons in real life look quite a bit like their appearances in cartoons and pop culture. A black mask runs across their eyes, laid against a greyish brown fur that covers the rest of their body. Their bushy, heavily furred tails feature a ringed pattern, typically colored black and brownish yellow. Raccoon paws, which resemble tiny human hands, provide them with a great deal of manual dexterity. Adult raccoons typically weigh around 10-30 pounds and can grow up to be 3 feet long!
Meet Blondie During Your Swamp Tour!
Blondie can often be spotted on our tours! She is a rare racoon who has Erythrism, similar to melanism and albinism, but it's not very well understood. It causes the absence of certain pigmentation like dark colors and excessive production of other colors - particularly red. Side effects for raccoons with this condition include poor cold/heat tolerance and diminished eyesight.
What Do Raccoons Eat?
As many Americans are well aware, raccoons are not picky eaters. Wilderness raccoons are happy to subsist on any available source of fruits, berries, seeds, insects, nuts, plants, and small amphibians or rodents. Like many Louisiana residents, raccoons even enjoy feasting on crawfish! Raccoons are nocturnal, so they pursue their food most aggressively at night. However, nursing mothers are often spotted foraging during the day.
Raccoons are immensely talented at making homes for themselves in different environments. They live all over the United States, and unlike many swamp-dwellers they thrive in both urban and wilderness areas. In rural Louisiana, a raccoon habitat can be found anywhere from pine and hardwood forests to coastal marshes. Rather than building a nest, raccoons like to discover and mark desirable sources of shelter. Hollow trees or logs, brush piles, and dense clumps of low-lying foliage all make for suitable dens in swampy areas.
Raccoons exhibit nomadic behavior, but usually rely on a general area that they are familiar with. They are often spotted roaming between different points that they have identified and marked as reliable sources of food or shelter. Since raccoons prefer to mark their dens near a water source, like a stream or a pond, you can imagine how much they love the swamp!
Explore Louisiana Wildlife on a Honey Island Swamp Tour
If you’re looking for an opportunity to see raccoons and other Louisiana wildlife up close, swamp tours are the way to go! A Pearl River tour will take guests deep into the beautiful Honey Island Swamp, where you’ll meet an unforgettable cast of wild swamp residents. Professional and experienced Pearl River tour guides will educate you on dynamic ecosystems that can only be found in South Louisiana. Raccoons are just one of the many incredible creatures you’ll encounter on a Honey Island Swamp tour. Don’t miss out – book today!