Bandit-faced raccoons are found only in North America. But there’s no shortage of them—both in wilder places like Daufuskie and in most cities, where “gourmet coons” raid only certain restaurants’ trash cans. They’re smart and playful but, when they want or need to be, are fierce fighters. A full-grown coon can top 20 pounds and, if cornered, take on most dogs.
As children, we raised several small coons as pets. We learned they have paws like hands to help them get into anything—or