Raccoons embody the spirit and goals of the Center.  They are a “can-do” species that learns about the world through their hands-on touching.  This is exactly the educational philosophy of the Center: Hands-on learning.

The Center has treated over 1500 raccoons in its history, about 65 animals in a year.  Many of these we have raised from babies when they are separated from their mothers.  Separation is often because humans hurt, injure or destroy the family by doing yard work and springtime house repairs. Cars and drivers are another common separator.

Raccoons are a native wild animal.  That means they are one of the original inhabitants of North America-true citizens of the Northeastern woodlands. They were here and successful during the time when the Wompanoags were the principle inhabitants of the area.  By contrast today they are just as successful in our urban and suburban habitats. Can-do, where ever, whenever.

The Wompanoags, and other Algonquin speaking cultures that lived in this area knew and interacted with the raccoons.  In fact the Algonquin word for raccoon is “Araquon” which means ‘little washer bear’.

In the Algonquin belief system the raccoon spirit is the soul of the Center. They would refer to it as the Center’s ‘totem’.   This is the animal that best represents the spirit and characteristics of a person or of a social group.  The Center’s totem is the raccoon.

We help raccoons.  Raccoons help us.



Dr. Greg MertzRaccoons