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Blonde (Blond) and Red Raccoons?

Many people have seen the “typical” masked bandit that so often raids our garbage cans at night. But very few people have seen a blonde raccoon, and even fewer have seen a red raccoon.

An individual, in one of the forums in 2003, who was working with a fur buyer at the time, stated that the buyer purchased over half a million raccoon skins every year. They stated that only about 8-10 of the skins out of that half million would be blonde, and only 1 would be albino. No, a blonde raccoon is not an albino. And this individual added that the red ones, those having a more reddish brown color, were even rarer than the albino.

The raccoon is an image that often comes to mind when thinking of the wild frontier, and was especially made famous by those who were depicted as wearing a coonskin cap, such as Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. But the blonde or red raccoon is typically not pictured or mentioned, and because of this few people have ever heard of them.

Albino Raccoon

Albino Raccoon

The coloring of a raccoon can range from a light blonde color, to one with shades of reddish-rust and brown, to one composed of a deep, dark gray and black, and every shade in-between these colors. The tail always has dark and light rings of color, and the mask around the eyes is generally the bandit’s darkest feature.

Notice that an albino raccoon has pink nose and feet, whereas, a blonde raccoon's is dark. The albino has no mask. And his eyes are much lighter.

I just included this picture because I wanted to share it with you. It's a beautiful photo of an older raccoon. Notice how gray he is.

I just included this picture because I wanted to share it with you. It's a beautiful photo of an older raccoon. Notice how gray he is.

Fun and Interesting Tidbits About All Raccoons

  • They have been heard purring
  • They can run 10-15 mph over short distances, and can swim about 3 mph
  • They are able to both sweat, and to pant (like a dog), to cool themselves down.
  • Raccoons are also known as Washer Bears
  • The raccoon’s native range is North American, ranging from Panama through southern Canada.
  • Raccoons have gone feral in Germany where they escaped from fur farms. They have multiplied profusely there, having no natural enemies. They have become a threat to the country’s wine industry where they have caused havoc in the wine cellars and storage areas in their search for food.
  • Raccoons can carry canine distemper, parvovirus, and rabies. In the U.S., 37.5% of rabies cases were raccoons.
  • Rabies has become so prevalent among the raccoon population that several states in the U.S., and some areas in Canada, have developed oral vaccination programs.

Enjoy these polls that were added in April 2013!

Blonde Raccoons

Red Raccoons

Albino Raccoons

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Comments: "Blonde (Blond) and Red Raccoons? "

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on July 29, 2020:

What an awesome sight that must have been. Thanks for sharing Chris!

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Chris Boyer on July 29, 2020:

Just saw this strawberry red raccoon on my deck tonight with it's buddy that is black and white thay are big and fat, must be eating good, here in Blaine Minnesota

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on July 21, 2020:

Indeed lucky for you, Henry. Thanks for stopping by.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on July 21, 2020:

Sounds like a beautiful animal, Sunny.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on July 21, 2020:

You should call animal control. She may be sick and even have rabies. They can get her the help she needs if sick, and relocate her.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on July 21, 2020:

What a lucky sight for you, Diana!

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on July 01, 2020:

I agree, Ashley. Raccoons are interesting creatures. They are smart, but can be quite dangerous. They are also very unpredictable, so close encounters should be avoided. They also carry disease, and a common carrier of rabies.

Ashly Christen from Illinois on June 23, 2020:

I think Raccoons are pretty cool, we had some interesting up close and personal encounters with them many times while camping in California. They are so smart cute little creatures, but of course, they can be quite the opposite of cute when tested.

James on April 22, 2020:

A previous commenter is correct, that is in no way an older raccoon. It is a raccoon dog, from Asia. Googling will confirm this

Henry S. Knight, Jr. on March 28, 2018:

I was visiting friends on one of South Carolina's barrier islands neat Beaufort this past weekend. On March 25th, Palm Sunday, I was walking our dog early, before church. we were walking beside shallow estuary that had a mud flat about 15 - 20 yards from the road. In the mud flat I saw the tail and part of the body of an animal. The rest of the animal was obscured by the spartina grass that grew in the estuary and mud flat. It was rust red in color and the tail was distinctly banded with lighter and darker shades of the red color. I have seen many, many raccoons, but I have never seen one this color, so I didn't recognize it as a raccoon. I watched to for several minutes, wondering what it was. I finally I whistled at it hoping to get a better look at its head. It looked up at me and I could clearly see there little perky raccoon ears, but not much of the face. The ears got me wondering if it was a raccoon. My dog and I walked on another couple hundred yards to the end of the road and turned around. On the return trip there animal was still there, but this time it was standing on its hind legs inspecting a spartina reed that was growing in the mud flat. I could see it clearly, 20 yards away. It was a raccoon, its dark mask clearly visible. I was surprised and delighted. I watched it for several minutes and it kept its eyes on me, but it didn't seem at all frightened or disturbed by my presence. My small dog never saw it because he couldn't see over the undergrowth that grew on the side of the road. I'm certain if the raccoon had seen my dog, he would have had a much more guarded reaction to us. When I had the opportunity later in there day. I looked up red raccoons and discovered how very rare they are. I am privileged to have seen one up close and personal.

Sunny on June 24, 2017:

I have what appears to be a very light blonde racoon with reddish stripes. I haven't seen anything like it. It has the mask and a dark nose.

Leigh on February 27, 2016:

I have a red raccoon in my garage and it looks to be old. I have had raccoons around for years but really worried about this one, she is moving quite slow. She did drink some water and curled up in one my my kitty cat beds. Wondering if she is either sick or dying from old age.

diana on February 22, 2016:

there was 3 raccoons in my back yard this morning and one of them was red not even sure i would have realized it was red if it wasn't for the other two normal brown/grey ones and the brown instead of black rings on his tail

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on September 29, 2015:

How lucky to see such a lovely sight. Hope it doesn't hurt your cats. Now that it has a food source it will probably hang around.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on September 29, 2015:

That is a cute name, natasha. Thanks for stopping by.

Nancy on May 06, 2015:

We live in an area that has woods, a pond, and a creek. We've seen many raccoons around as well as deer, fox, and skunk. There are many cats that live in the community. As an animal lover, I leave food out for the cats and whatever else decides to eat it. Tonight I noticed the cats sitting on the sidewalk staring at the food bowl. Being curious, I went to see why they weren't eating. Low and behold, there was a beautiful large blonde raccoon eating at the bowl! It was a lovely sight. It seems to be staying in a tree behind the house. I hope to see it again and get pictures.

natasha leavins on March 18, 2015:

I have a red tail raccoon he is awesome I just love him his name is cornbread

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on January 16, 2015:

I could be mistaken, but I do believe it is an older raccoon. Thanks.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on January 16, 2015:

I agree with you, Ellie. It is a shame. It is good that their beauty will not be wasted.

Ellie on January 16, 2015:

I have three baby red raccoons. A hunter gave them to me as a gift who killed them for No reason. I plan on taxiderying these poor creatures so their beauty may be preserved forever. Shame they were killed. :( I would have much rather them be alive.

Andy on August 24, 2014:

Hi--Nice article but you have an error in labeling the last photo as an older raccoon as it is really a raccoon dog ( a canine from Asia)..

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on August 16, 2014:

I would think that wherever the regular colored raccoons can be found, you will also find the red raccoons. Just as you can find albino raccoons. They just will be rare.

Tiffany S FL on August 10, 2014:

Are there red raccoons in Florida? Went to Ft. Pierce Inlet Park yesterday and while driving through the windy road to the beach we saw Bobcat crossing signs; however, we also saw what we thought was a red raccoon! No one believed us! He ran across the road quickly, so no time for a pic. I'm a FL native and have seen thousands of raccoons, but never one this color.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on September 02, 2013:

Dogs seem to be a good deterrent. Although mine are indoors, the times they get out at night seem to do the trick. An outdoor dog would be even better. Removing a food source - the cat food which they love - is a great idea!

TonyaBRLouisiana on August 28, 2013:

Help lots of coons! I live in Baton Rouge in a large neighborhood. My back yard is pretty big 1 section has a deck apx 35ft x 25 ft with 8 huge trees surrounding it 2 trees have a treehouse connecting them! I have outside cats so I keep a big container with food outside. I knew I had a coon or 2 that kept opening the container & feasting no matter where I move it they would dine! Well tonight I decided to sit outside & see just what went on! The night has been long but the coons didn't take to long to surround me & the cat food. I counted 2 blondes I think 1 albino but not sure & 7 regular coons! They came out the treehouse from under my deck & 1 was in my hammock! I had no idea that many lived in my yard 1 of these interesting masked menaces decided to swing on my swing! I love animals so I can't hurt them but I want them to go away! I have brought the cat food inside what else can I do to make them leave my yard?

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on August 08, 2013:

I bet it is gorgeous.

nicole on July 22, 2013:

i just bought a red raccoon taxidermy mount for 75 yesterday. im so excited to have him apart of my collection

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on May 27, 2013:

jenidren - this was truly a treat. I am glad that he was a red raccoon and not bloody. Enjoy him!

jenidren on May 15, 2013:

The other night I spooked a raccoon out of my birdfeeder. I was horrified when a few coyotes chased him into the woods after he crawled under my fence. When he returned the next night at first I thought he was coverd in blood from fighting with coyotes. I felt terrible until I realized he's a red raccoon. Never saw one before. What a treat! Been feeding him every night since.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on March 21, 2013:

Sounds beautiful, René !

René on March 20, 2013:

WWow I'm in southern California at a park near my house and I'm looking at a beautiful bright blond raccoon with red rings around the tail. It's fur is so bright. Like a bright orange.. I've never seen one before. Beautiful.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on November 21, 2012:

That would be a great video and pics to see. You are blessed to have been visited by one of these inquisitive creatures. Thanks for sharing your story!

Bayou Belle on November 07, 2012:

I was shocked to see a light colored raccoon pass by me one night when I was in my backyard looking for cicadas! I eventually put out some dog food to see if I could see it again and it showed up with Momma, three grays and the blonde/albino. Momma was gray also so I think she may have adopted him. He was very small, smaller than the other three kits. I fed them every night for about four months when we saw that Lil Red as we called him had been hit by a car on the road nearby. So I cut the tail, thinking it would be the last I saw of him. Low and behold, it was not Lil Red that got killed...for he and the rest of the family came back the following night to eat again! So there must have been a blonde Momma that got killed and the babies were on their own and this gray Momma adopted one of them. Just recently did the Momma stop coming but the kits still come to eat off my picnic table! I got some very cute photos and video of the whole family eating and drinking off the picnic table, lol... I'm not sure though whether or not Lil Red is an albino or a blondy. I could see a mask so I'm leaning towards blondy, but he has a pink nose, eyes and feet too... Wish I could post a pic for all to see!

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on August 02, 2012:

That would have been a wonderful site to behold, paddy c. That is quite rare!

paddy c on July 30, 2012:

I had two blonde raccoons from the same family eating my black oil sunflower seeds tonight. There were two normal colored ones so half of the young were blonde. What are those odds? Then, once mom moved so did everyone else, as if they were never there.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on May 30, 2012:

levadepolice - The raccoons do come eat the bird food out of our feeders as well. I hate to hear that you will soon be wearing him. They are beautiful animals, and the red are so rare. Thanks for coming by!

Ievadepolice2 on May 29, 2012:

I have a Red Racoon coming round eating my bird food. I will post some pics soon. I am going to hunt him, it wont be pics though. I am gonna make a nice big ol hat outta him

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on May 08, 2012:

Skahld - Now that really would have been a sight! But seeing the red raccoons was a treat for sure! Thanks for sharing!

Skahld on May 08, 2012:

With the full moon out the other night, I saw 2 red raccoons about 10 feet apart in a ditch, running for cover as I drove by. Then a few seconds later, I saw 3 deer crossing the road. I tried to see if a Disney princess was anywhere around!

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on January 19, 2012:

chance_encounter - Wow! How exciting! I have not heard of them having malformed tails. I hope you were able to get a picture of him. Thanks so much for stopping by!

chance_encounter on January 19, 2012:

wow, I feel so lucky! I found a red raccoon sleeping in my garbage bin this morning. He was so cute and docile! He had a much rounder face and eyes were bigger too. He had a reddish brown fur and kinda look fox colored. He really looked like a red panda! I noticed he had a malformed tail and when reading about red raccoons I saw another encounter that mentioned a small/no tail. I wonder if the gene responsible for the red color also adds a defect in the tail as well? I'm going to hunt for him and try to snap a pic!

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on December 02, 2011:

Not familiar with that one, f.

f on December 02, 2011:

Like some ppl: seemingly cute and cuddly, but don't get too close ... (Certain other, nameless politicians come to mind, too...but never mind who.)

It's remarkable how different animals are deemed to have specific characterstics.

(And I guess you would know of T S Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats....)

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on December 02, 2011:

f - they do look very cute and cuddly, but are to be avoided for sure. Not sure about whether related to weasels.

f on December 02, 2011:

Oh I wasn't setting out to discuss him; he was referred to in terms of that creature, that's all.

Raccoons are anyway a lot more sly and a lot less cuddly than some ppl give them credit for. I'm not sure if they are related to weasels, but they sure can be weasly...

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on December 02, 2011:

f - I avoid all discussions of politics and religion. If you like that kind of stuff, it gets really hot and heavy in the forums.

f on December 02, 2011:

Jesse Helms stuff, you know: porcupine tactics ...

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on December 02, 2011:

f - and very destructive. They are always tearing down our bird feeders. :(

f on December 02, 2011:

Yes, raccoons can be as sly as foxes, and as obstinate as mules ... LOL

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on December 02, 2011:

No, they are pretty smart! LOL

f on December 02, 2011:

The raccoon that eats our garbage is far from a dumb blonde ...

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on December 02, 2011:

leroy64 - I live just north of Dallas and we have raccoons that make the rounds every night and drive our dogs crazy. I have been tempted to let the dogs out just so I could get some sleep (this usually happens around 2 or 3 in the morning), but have not because they (the raccoons) can be very vicious.

I found it interesting that the raccoons were actually blonde rather than being albino.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Brian L. Powell from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff) on December 02, 2011:

I like this hub.

Raccoons are interesting creatures. I know they are smart and adaptable. I have heard they can be mean if cornered. A few live near my home in the middle of Dallas.

I had no idea of the existence of blond and red raccoons. I had no idea they were still used for fur.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on August 23, 2011:

Cloverleaf, thanks for stopping by. I really like animals, so I'm always on the look out for one I haven't heard of before. Sometimes it's hard to find a picture though to demonstrate. I will keep looking, and maybe, I'll surprise you again real soon.

Louise from Calgary, AB, Canada on August 23, 2011:

Homesteadbound you find such interesting information about types of animals I've never heard about! The albino racoon is my favourite, especially with that pink nose.


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