| Raccoons are common throughout North America. They live in urban, rural, and suburban areas. They make their homes in old, hollow* trees, or they live inside burrows, which are holes dug into the ground. Sometimes they try to make themselves at home in abandoned* buildings, and they might even try to get inside your house when it's cold during the winter.
Raccoons are very intelligent animals. They're good at finding food, and they adapt well to their environment. They know that when people put garbage outside of their homes, there's probably some tasty* food inside the garbage cans. In areas populated by both raccoons and people, it's a good idea to have a trash can that has a strong lid* and doesn't tip over. These fury little creatures are very determined to feed themselves and their families.
Raccoons are cute as babies. In fact, some people try to keep them as pets. But when they get older, they can become quite large and very destructive. That's one reason why it's not a good idea to keep a raccoon as a pet.
Raccoons are nocturnal animals. That means they are most active at night. The mother raccoon travels with her babies as they go out looking for food. Unfortunately, they sometimes walk onto highways where they are hit by cars and trucks. It's very common to see dead raccoons by the side of the road if you do a lot of traveling on highways in the United States.
abandoned: people were in a location, but then they left it.
lid: cover; top
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Now you try it. Read the paragraph above. If you have a microphone, you can record your voice.
How much do you remember from the reading? Fill in the blanks.
- 1A: Raccoons are often found inside abandoned buildings. What does the word "abandoned" mean?
- 1B: It means there __________ any people.
- 2A: Raccoons are nocturnal animals. When are they most active?
- 2B: Raccoons are most active at ____________.
- 3. Raccoons are __________ when they are babies.
- 4. When they get older, they can be very ___________.
- 5. It's not a good idea to keep a racoon as a _________.
(Answers: 1. aren't; 2. night; 3. cute; 4. destructive; 5. pet)