Who would win a fight between a raccoon and a skunk? Raccoons are round, fuzzy creatures with bushy tails and a black mask of fur that covers their eye area. These animals may look like cute, cuddly bandits, but they can be quite fearsome when approached. Skunks are small, furry animals with black and white stripes. Some skunks are striped, and some are spotted or have swirl patterns on their fur. No matter the pattern, the black-and-white coloring is a warning sign to anyone who may harm this small creature. They pack a wallop of a defense mechanism — noxious odors produced from their well-developed scent glands. DESCRIPTION AND SIZE The body of a Raccoon can be large and they have a series of gray, brown, and black on their bodies. Around the eyes is black and they have some areas of white too. The tail has stripes of black, white, and gray on them. They have very small hands that they can use for a variety of needs. They have a snout that is long and pointed and the nose is black. Raccoons are about as big as small dogs. They grow to about 23 to 37 inches and weigh 4 to 23 pounds. Skunks are black and white in color but there are some variants and they all have stripes. It has a bushy tail that is marked with black and white rings. Skunks are typically around the size of house cats. They grow to 8 to 19 inches long and weigh around 7 ounces to 14 lbs. Their tail adds another 5 to 15 inches to their length. The Eastern hog-nosed skunk is the largest of all the skunk species. It typically grows to 27.56 to 31.50 inches and weighs 4.41 to 9.91 lbs. DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT Raccoons are found in North and Central America, Europe and Japan. They are very adaptable, so they live in a wide range of climates and habitats. They typically make homes, called dens, in trees or caves, though they will also make homes in barns, abandoned vehicles and other man-made locations. Though raccoons are more than happy to make human areas their homes, they can be vicious when approached by humans. Humans should be particuarlly cautious of approaching raccoons because they are common carriers of rabies, roundworms and leptospirosis. Most experts do not recommend having a raccoon as a pet. The spotted skunk has a range that covers most of the US and Mexico, although the species is a bit less populous than the striped skunk. Even less common are the hooded and hog-nosed species, which are only native to parts of the Midwest, southwest and Mexico. Stink badgers, which were recently considered part of the skunk family, are found in Indonesia and the Philippines. Skunks live in forest edges, woodlands, grasslands and deserts. They typically make their homes in abandoned burrows, but will also live in abandoned buildings, under large rocks and in hollow logs. Skunks will occasionally dig their own burrows underground if no other shelter options are available. DIET As omnivores, raccoons eat vegetation and meat. The vegetation in their diet consists of cherries, apples, acorns, persimmons, berries, peaches, citrus fruits, plums, wild grapes, figs, watermelons, beech nuts, corn and walnuts. When it comes to meat, raccoons consume more invertebrates than vertebrates. Some of the raccoon’s favorite animal treats are frogs, fish, crayfish, insects, rodents and bird eggs. When food is scarce, raccoons aren’t above scavenging human trash or eating roadkill. Skunks are omnivores and opportunistic feeders. Common animal foods include worms, rodents, and even small reptiles like lizards, salamanders, frogs, snakes. They often hunt insects and insect larvae, poultry, eggs and small mammals. They are also known to attack beehives to eat honeybees as their thick fur protects them from stings. As for plants, they often feed on garden vegetables and fruits, berries, grasses, and roots. In urban and suburban areas, skunks forage and eat from household garbage cans and leftover pet food. Less commonly, they are scavengers, feeding on the carcass of birds and rodents killed by cats or other animals. BEHAVIOR The Raccoon is very intelligent and they can problem solve. They can get into just about anything and that is why many people think they are a pest. They can open doors, drawers, trash cans, and other items that would normally keep other critters out of your territory. They are excellent climbers and can be high up in the trees in no time at all. When they are coming down they do so backwards and then when they are close the ground they will turn around and leap to land on all fours. They are excellent swimmers and love to do so. They may get into the water to find food or just to cool off and splash around. Raccoons in the northern parts of their range gorge themselves in spring and summer to store up body fat. They then spend much of the winter asleep in a den. Skunks generally have poor vision and can barely see objects that are more than 3 meters away. This predisposes them to high mortality on roads as they do not see approaching vehicles until too late. They however possess excellent senses of smell and hearing. They are most popularly known for their defensive reaction of releasing a foul, strong smelling secretion from its rear end when threatened. The offensive smell of this secretion is effective in discouraging would-be attackers as it persists for days if sprayed on anything within a 10-foot distance. The spray can also cause irritation and temporary blindness. Its major predators are coyotes, bobcats, and owls. Reproduction Baby raccoons are called kits or cubs and are usually born in the early summer. Females have one to seven offspring after a gestation period of 60 to 73 days. As a group, a mother and her baby raccoons are called a nursery. The male skunk is called a buck, female – doe, and baby – kit. The birth of 2 to 10 kits usually takes place in May. The female skunk would dig out a birth burrow to have her babies in. The kits are born blind and without any teeth, they are also unable to use their defensive spray at first. These features usually develop over a few weeks and the babies stay with their mother for about a year. The mother is protective of her babies and sprays at any perceived sign of danger. Would it be possible to stage a fight between a skunk and a raccoon? In my opinion, in a melee fight the raccoon would win because it is bigger, and I think it is much more agile than the skunk. But once the skunk implements their secret weapon, their suffocating spray, I think the raccoon will run very fast. I’m curious what is your opinion about this fight? I am waiting for your comments!