My neighbor is an ardent gardener who loves growing various fruits, vegetables, and beautiful flowers.
Recently alongside her pumpkin patch, she decided to start growing watermelons. These fruits grow in early spring and summer, and she chose extra sweet ones.
But animals destroyed several of the fruits before she could harvest the watermelons. On further exploration, we found small pawprints near the fruits.
When I spoke of this to a local farmer, he said it was probably a raccoon attack. It surprised me, do raccoons eat watermelons?
Watermelons are low in sugar and high in water content which makes them a great source of energy and hydration for raccoons, especially in dry summer weather. Additionally, if you are feeding your pet raccoon watermelon, you should always remove the seeds beforehand to prevent any choking.
Raccoons are omnivorous, which means they can consume plant and animal-based food. We usually associate raccoons with scourging garbage bins and dustbins.
Wild raccoons in forests eat fruits like watermelons, provided they come across these. If they come across a fully ripe watermelon, they will eat it.
Can baby raccoons eat watermelons?
Baby raccoons can eat watermelons, but you must be careful about a few things. The seeds can cause choking so they must be removed from the watermelon pieces. This way, your pet won’t choke on the seeds.
You must also mash the watermelon pieces to make them easily digestible for the baby raccoon.
Whenever possible, feed your pet only fresh fruits. You should not give him or her any processed food.
If you are trying to save a baby raccoon and need to ensure sufficient nutrition, you can give it watermelon pieces.
Do raccoons living in the wild eat watermelons?
Raccoons living in forests and suburbs prefer to eat fish, crawfish, snails, and snakes.
Although the creature is omnivorous, it consumes plant-based food when it lacks suitable animal-based food in the wild.
For example, they will typically not eat watermelons in the wild because these are different from commercial ones.
Commercial watermelons usually have more flesh, making them attractive to raccoons.
However, if other food is scarce in the wild, raccoons are known to bore holes through the rind of wild watermelons and eat the flesh inside.
Do raccoons eat watermelon rinds?
Raccoons cannot smell very well, but they have a highly developed sense of touch. Therefore, if it feels that there are watermelon rinds within its reach, it will do its best to access these. The rinds might seem bitter to us but are consumed by raccoons.
Raccoons prefer to eat the fruit’s flesh, but if they are hungry, they can even eat the rinds. However, they usually avoid the rinds.
Raccoons will eat almost anything. They are scavengers and opportunistic feeders.
So, if you throw away watermelon rinds in the garbage bin without putting these properly in garbage bags, you will have to deal with an overturned garbage bin the next day.
Can raccoons that are kept in captivity be given watermelons?
Watermelons provide raccoons with a sufficient amount of nutrition, such as vitamins and minerals.
Raccoons need a lot of potassium and copper to build strong bones and a robust immune system.
When these creatures are bred in captivity, their diet needs to be controlled, and hence, you will find that sometimes they are given watermelons as an occasional snack.
But the amount of watermelon given to the raccoons needs to be monitored because it is rich in vitamin C.
Can you give a whole watermelon to a raccoon?
Occasionally, raccoons are given whole watermelons in the zoo or reservations. It is primarily to attract the creature to come out in the open.
Raccoons are reclusive by nature and also nocturnal. But giving them a whole watermelon makes the creature curious, and they will come out to explore it.
Moreover, raccoons have sharp claws, making it easy for the creature to bore a hole in the fruit to extract the flesh.
It also makes for an attractive plaything for the raccoon!
Hence, just as you sometimes see raccoons out looking for food during the day in the zoo, the creatures are given whole watermelons to draw them out of hiding.
Can you feed raccoons watermelons by hand?
You should avoid feeding raccoons by hand unless it is your pet raccoon. Wild and urban raccoons are known to carry infectious diseases, so you should avoid contact with them.
Moreover, they are common pests that can damage your garden and backyard.
Raccoons can be quite aggressive at times. Therefore, you shouldn’t feed raccoons watermelons or food by hand.
Can raccoons be pests for watermelon farmers?
Raccoons can prove to be dangerous pests for watermelon farmers. These creatures tend to visit the place where they get suitable food repeatedly.
As a result, the animals will continue to visit if they locate a watermelon farm without proper protection to keep the raccoons out.
As the watermelon plant is a creeper, it does not stand any chance against the claws of the raccoons.
Can farmers keep raccoons away from their watermelon harvest?
Yes, there are several ways that farmers can keep raccoons away from their watermelon harvest.
One way of doing it is by building a fence around your watermelon patch so that the raccoons cannot gain access to the plants and fruits.
Many farmers also use sound, motion activators, bright lights, and other similar measures to keep the pests away from the watermelon patch.
Sometimes farmers are also known to sow garlic and onion plants near the watermelon patch as the pungent smell from the plants can also prove to be a deterrent for raccoons.
What fruits can you give to your pet raccoon?
If you want your pet raccoon to be healthy, you can give the creature different types of fruits along with its regular meal.
You can easily include watermelons in this list as the fruit is highly nutritious and low in sugar.
If you give fruits with high sugar content, your raccoon will become obese, leading to hyperactivity.
If you are keen on including fruits as a regular part of your pet raccoon’s diet, then you should consult your veterinarian about a meal plan that is suitable for pet raccoons.