Raccoons quarreling in a treetop
These raccoons are having a faceoff high up in a tree. Raccoon mating season begins in mid-January and extends through February in Southeast Missouri.
If you go hiking in the woods on a warm winter day you may hear what sounds like an animal fight. It could be raccoons, and the growling could get pretty loud. Two or more males may be battling for the right to claim a female, or it could be a female raccoon trying to discourage an unwanted suitor.
Raccoons are very adaptable creatures. Because of this, although raccoons are native to North America, they have flourished in other parts of the world. Near the end of World War II an airstrike caused 25 raccoons to escape from a fur farm in Germany. Today, the city of Kassel, Germany, has a large population of urban raccoons. Some other countries experiencing the adaptability of the raccoon from North America include France, Russia and Japan.
Through the Woods is a weekly nature photo column by Aaron Horrell. Find this column at semissourian.com to order a reprint of the photo. Find more work by Aaron at The Painted Wren Gallery.