Although captive raccoons have been known to live over 20 years, their average life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1 years. In many areas, hunting and vehicular injury are the two most common causes of death.
This female raccoon was found on the corner of a busy highway and a secondary side street. The October air kept it in fairly decent shape until a friend informed me of her location. From a distance it looked fairly large and was wondering if I could carry it myself or ask for help. Upon closer inspection, I realized quickly why animals 'poof' their hair out. It was only about 15 lbs (looked 40-50lbs from a distance).
The smell was horrific. I have come upon other species weeks old, covered with maggots, and haven't experienced this smell. It was immediate upon dissection that the diet of the city raccoon attributes to the pungent smell. The fat layers were an average of 1" thick and the glands were fairly large. The internal (stomach and bowel) organs were not severely punctured which can attribute to the aroma, however, they were intact.
• Smell: incence
• Lighting: house lamp light (it was 8:30pm mid-October)
• Entertainment: The Office via Netflix
• Cutting: Exacto knife
• Disposal: 2 garbage bags and 4 paper towels
Upon inspection, the cause of death was due to cervical (4-5) fracture and internal hemorrhaging (upper torso). Other wounds were a broken front right leg. My guess is that is was dead for 3 days due to the following:
• dried eye sockets, but not eaten
• gas inflated intestines
• small/no amount of large bug infestation