Do Raccoons Eat Dead Animals? Doing This Without Getting Sick

Raccoons are also called masked bandits, they are called this because the fur around their eyes is black, this makes them look like they are wearing a mask around their eyes.

They are also known to steal trash out of garbage cans, this is another reason why they are known as masked bandits, but will these animals be desperate enough to eat dead animals? This article looks into it 

Raccoons will eat dead animals, raccoons are opportunistic feeders, they will eat almost anything put in front of them, including a dead animal. Dead animals may be preferred because they do not need to be chased and caught by the raccoon. 

Do raccoons eat dead animals?

Raccoons have many characteristics, but being picky eaters isn’t one of them. 

These masked bandits are known to eat a variety of foods, they are opportunistic feeders. They are happy to eat plants or animals depending on what is available to them.

They will also eat dead animals.

Why raccoons prefer dead animals:

While raccoons can catch and kill prey, they will also eat animals that are already dead. These animals don’t mind if this dead meat comes from your trash or is found in and around where they live. 

Because raccoons prefer to conserve energy, they will prefer to eat dead animals over live prey

Raccoons are open-minded about food, chasing a variety of different prey but they will usually go for food that is easy to catch and eat.

If a raccoon stumbles on a dead animal, and concludes that the dead animal is food, then the raccoon will eat it. 

Animals that have been caught, killed, and eaten by a raccoon, and dead animals that the raccoon stumbles upon, will both offer the raccoon vitamins and minerals in equal amounts.

The main mineral, in dead or live animals, that the raccoon will benefit from is protein, the proteins found in animals are complete proteins, plants don’t offer complete proteins. 

How raccoons are able to eat dead animals:

Raccoons are able to eat uncooked animals because their teeth and claws are strong and sharp enough to tear into and rip meat from the animal’s bones.

The raccoons’ saliva is an antiseptic, it keeps the animal from getting ill. The raccoon’s stomach acids are strong enough to digest raw meat and their stomach acids also kill off any bacteria that their saliva could not kill off. 

Raccoons know to keep away from dead animals covered in mold or animals that are going off

Examples of dead animals that a raccoon will eat are dead rats, dead mice, dead birds, and a variety of dead insects. They will eat almost any dead animal. However, raccoons will not eat dead raccoons 

Do raccoons eat rotten meat? 

Raccoons can be very desperate when looking for food. These animals may look for and eat meats from the trash, as well as dead animals, but they will avoid eating rotten meat. 

Although the raccoon’s body is able to eat foods that carry bacteria, these animals will avoid eating rotten meat, rotten meat carries bacteria that can make raccoons sick.

Raccoons have evolved to know which foods are good for them and which are not, thus, they will avoid foods that are bad for them, this includes rotten meat. 

There are a variety of other foods that raccoons can’t eat. This article is a more in-depth look at what raccoons can’t eat

What attracts raccoons to your yard?


Raccoons may be attracted to your yard because there is food available. Food can include anything from leftover foods left out or pet food. Raccoons have a keen sense of smell, they will be attracted to the smell of food from a long way away. 

These animals are able to eat a variety of foods. This article looks more into what raccoons eat


Not only are gardens a source of food for humans, but they are also a source of food for raccoons. These animals will eat the plants in your gardens as well as the insects present in your gardens, insects make up a large part of the raccoon diet. 

Dark open spaces:

Raccoons are usually out and about at night, they love the dark, if you have an open space in your garden. that gets very dark and shadowy at night, then raccoons will likely be attracted to it. 


In conclusion, yes raccoons do eat dead animals, raccoons will look for meals that are easy to acquire, like dead animals.

Dead animals offer a variety of vitamins and minerals to raccoons

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other raccoon related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Do raccoons eat dog food?, Do raccoons eat dog poop?, Do raccoons eat deer?,

Do Raccoons Eat Dead Animals? Doing This Without Getting Sick
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