Raccoons in the Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known for its great diversity of species, including 65 species of mammals. The raccoon, known as the “masked bandit” is an intelligent, mostly nocturnal mammal. Fully grown, raccoons weigh from 8-14 pounds, and live up to 7 years old. They feed on many aquatic species such as frogs or crayfish, and the nests of both birds and turtles. In the fall, acorns are the food of choice, helping build up their fat stores for the winter. Raccoons can be found from Canada to Central America and have an average home range of 200-500 acres, mostly along stream courses. You can help raccoons stay wild by keeping your trash put away, as they are frequent visitors to camprounds, such as Elkmont, or Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or Up the Creek RV Camp in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.