Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Raccoons & Alligators 01

Raccoons are omnivorous, feeding not only on fruits, vegetables and other plants but they also hunt and feed small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects. Raccoons love to eat eggs and they do not hesitate to dig up an abandoned alligator nest and devour its eggs as well as any hatchling found. These medium size predators are know to be opportunistic feeders, feeding frequently on road kill and garbage. It is argued that raccoons are the world’s most omnivorous animals. Their diet consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant material and 27% vertebras. Raccoons feed meanly on insects, worms and other small animals, including all kind of eggs and any new born or young animals they encounter during their feeding sprees. Filming raccoons is not very difficult, cuz most of them have lost their fears for humans in their immediate environment and subsequently these animals are more preoccupied of getting their next meal, even if it means to harass a near by cameraman. 
Female raccoons are more aware and reclusive while having to care for their young. Still, it’s not so difficult to find out a raccoon nest in a tree and wait for the raccoon family to emerge shortly before sunset. Raccoon kits are extremely cute, playful and fun to film. They will venture through the branches with its mother resting near by, always keeping an eye on her young and the surrounding area. I was spotted many times by raccoon mothers during the filming, but I’ve never seen that they panic as long as I remained calm and remained within a save distance. But the mother would feel uneasy and eventually disappear with her kits back into their nest (hollow tree trunk). If one ventures to close to the nest, the mother will viciously defend her young and attack any intruders, including humans. 

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