Raccoons are one of the most common predators of Koi, along with herons. There are two main ways that a raccoon will fish a Koi out of a pond. If a pond has shallow sides, a raccoon will wade into the pond and capture the Koi. If a pond has steep sides, a raccoon will sit at the edge and entice the Koi to be caught (this is especially true is the Koi are very tame.) Raccoons are a nocturnal mammal, so it is very hard to catch them in the process of fishing your Koi. Many people have gone out to their ponds in the morning only to find them devoid of fish. Raccoons will also eat a bag of Koi food that is left unattended.
Most raccoons weigh 10 to 25 pounds (although, they can become very obese if kept in captivity.) They live all across North America. They are very strong and are able to hold their own weight, they will climb a tree very fast if frightened. Do not attempt to chase a raccoon if it is in your pond. They will sometimes attack if they are threatened. Raccoons have very sharp claws and teeth. They also can have rabies, so if you get bitten, you will have to endure the rabies shots. The safest way to get rid of a raccoon problem is to set up baited traps.
Raccoons can live up to a decade, although most live only a few years. They have a 2 month gestation period. Most raccoons are born with their most distinguishing characteristic, their mask. If it is not present at birth, it will appear within 2 weeks. This mask doesn’t really help with their reputation as Koi stealers.
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