* Threatened or Endangered
: Procyon lotor
: North America
: Fish, crayfish, invertebrates and some plants
: weight 6 – 35 lbs.
: Common across most of North America. Since the beginning of the 20th century they have expanded into Europe due to intentional introductions and escapes from fur farms.
The species name lotor means “washer” in Latin and refers to the belief that these animals wash their food. Research shows that these animals do not wash their food to clean it, but that the behavior probably mimics fishing or shellfishing behavior. In Germany where some animals have been intentionally introduced and other escaped from fur farms, these animals have become a threat to the wine industry for their habit of seeking food in wine cellars and storage areas.