Mother raccoon takes her kit to tree-climbing school

It’s hard enough to teach your little one to chew with their mouth closed, but imagine teaching them to climb a tree!

This is the challenge of raccoon mothers every season as they to train their kits. Within weeks of birth, their offspring must be ready to fend for themselves in challenging urban and wild environments.

Any raccoon worth its salt can scale trees with its eyes closed. Their semi-opposable thumbs and sharp claws serve them well as they navigate all manner of terrain. In fact, the raccoon is one of the most successful animals in North America, effortlessly colonizing large cities where wild animals would have trouble eking out a living.

These masked mammals are not exactly popular with city dwellers thanks to their habit of tipping over garbage bins, dwelling in attics, and generally making a nuisance of themselves. But watching this caring mother stop at nothing to teach her kit how to climb reminds us that they just want to pass on their genes to future generations, just like us.

And if this excellent mother is any indication, it looks like the future is in good hands.

If you ever find a young raccoon without its mother, try not to handle it, and provide a temporary shelter such as a box or milk crate. Do not move the raccoon inside, as the mother is probably close by, waiting for an opportunity to reunite.