Can Raccoons Swim?

The Alexandria raccoon is an animal widely spread and it could be found all over the globe. Due to its strong capability to adapt it can easily live anywhere. They can be found in urban, suburban and countryside areas living next to people or in remote rural areas like humid woodland environments. Raccoon´s top priority is water, direct access to water is needed, when they search the perfect place for their den. Raccoons are strongly connected to water; its Latin name Procyon lotor means ˝the one who is washing˝. These Virginia animals are known to wash their food in an excessive way even. They really like the water very much and can swim excellently.

Not only they climb exceptionally well, they also master the swimming. Raccoons do swim, however, they don´t have waterproof fur and that is why swimming forces them to gain some additional fat. Although these creatures are very strong swimmers, they surprisingly, swim unwillingly. Washing? Yes, absolutely. Swimming? Not so much.

Raccoons and swimming pools
Raccoons that live nearby human premises need their access to water just like the ones living wilderness. As they won't travel any further than necessary, their living range is quite small, within 3 km in the urban areas. They journey to food and back is a straight line between food areas and dens. In the urban areas Alexandria raccoon´s access to water usually means a swimming pool. They use swimming pools for their activities and are also very fond of pooping in the pool. They like to hide the feces in the pool or on the steps leading to the pool. It´s needless to say that the owners don´t accept this kind of gift with open arms.

Raccoon feces in the swimming pool is not only repulsive, it may be potentially dangerous to human health as well. Raccoons are human disease carriers and that makes them not only a nuisance but also a health risk. As the Virginia raccoons occasionally swim and also poop in the swimming pools the water may be contaminated. The diseases that can be transmitted from a raccoon are.

leptospirosis (bacterial infection in infected urine)
giardia (intestinal parasites that overpopulate the intestinal tract; not as damaging to organs as roundworms)
roundworms (intestinal parasites causing vomit, diarrhea and damage to internal organs)

The biggest problems are roundworms eggs from raccoon´s poop that can be easily digested and may cause several organ failures, however, one must keep in mind that not all Alexandria raccoons are infected. The best way to get raccoon away from your pool is with a live cage trap. Be careful where you put it, as raccoons are very strong animals and they can drown in the water if the cage is too close to the water. You can expect to struggle from the animal and to move the cage around. After the raccoon have been caught use gloves for precaution, while handling the cage. Cage with the Virginia raccoon has to be relocated to a safer place for the raccoon with plenty of water, food and possibilities for shelter.

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