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Stumbling upon a raccoon in your trash can is annoying, to say the least. But once you look into those beady little eyes surrounded by dark fur, you realize that raccoons are just smaller, more street-wise pandas, and they start to grow on you. Today we're celebrating nature's notorious bandits, and you'll probably love it even if you found garbage all over your driveway this morning.

'Trash panda' is not a nickname bestowed lightly on these critters. Raccoons belong to the biological suborder Caniformia, which also includes dogs, bears, and you guessed it - red pandas. Alright, so they might not be genetically related to the Beijing equivalent, but they're just as fluffy and adorable.

Raccoons may seem like instinct-driven bandits in the wild, but they're more clever than they get credit for. After being studied numerous times by ethologists throughout the 1900's, raccoons were determined to have razor sharp memory, and demonstrated the ability to remember solutions to tasks for up to 3 years - which is basically their average lifespan. The next time you feel like calling them pests, keep in mind that they'll probably remember your face, your house, where you keep your trash...

Check out the cutest raccoons we could find below, and vote for the ones that scurried away with your heart.

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#18

Adorable-cute-raccoons

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#22

Adorable-cute-raccoons

pumpkintheraccoon Report

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weimcentral avatar
Weim Central
Community Member
6 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So nice of you to have me over to your lovely home - the sea cottage motif really works in here! nom nom nom...

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#28

Adorable-cute-raccoons

rowdyreptile Report

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Desiré Yen
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6 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Down in the jungle where nobody knows there's a little raccoon looking for u...

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#40

Adorable-cute-raccoons

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Ginger Liddel
Community Member
6 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is almost exactly how we ended up raising a baby raccoon for two weeks expect it was raining freezing cold and he was crying loudly till I ran outside and threw a towel around him and brought him in for a feeding while we called wildlife services trying to find out wtf we were supposed to do ,they told us he was too young and would have to be put down we weren't having any of that it took us two weeks and constant feedings but we finally had located the mother and she took him back , he would come back often to visit the house and have snacks .

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#47

Adorable-cute-raccoons

Radius Images Report

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#59

Adorable-cute-raccoons

sandratoddphotography Report

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Rose Ann Sabaka
Community Member
6 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"You go to the left and I'll go to the right, then we'll sneak up on him."

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#66

Cute Raccoon

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Rose Ann Sabaka
Community Member
6 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Oh no....oh no.....you're not going to take my temperature, are you?"

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