An extremely strong aguacero (downpour) here at Xandari swelled the river that runs through the property’s grounds yesterday. Still having tracks on our mind from the last post, Seth and I headed down this morning to see if the fresh, silty clay deposited by the high waters had trapped any interesting “autographs.” We only visited one waterfall (no. 5 for those who know Xandari), but were not disappointed in our efforts. Last time, we saw evidence of agouti and various birds. None of that this time, but instead, evidence of a raccoon! The clay was so soft that it actually captured the tell-tale claw marks at the end of each toe.
Raccoons are pretty cool creatures and are extremely versatile. Although native to North America, they have managed to colonize Europe, the Caucasus, and even Japan (both by stowing away and deliberate introductions). To many North Americans in urban and suburban environments, raccoons are perhaps best known as the masked bandits that are caught rifling through the trash and littering cans and wrappers on the ground as they make their escape. Despite the bad wrap they sometimes get as a result, however, raccoons are perfectly capable of living and thriving all by their lonesome. It’s no surprise that they prowl the lush forests of Costa Rica’s central valley.
Check out their hind feet prints below. (The small, circular impressions in the clay result from large water drops falling from the leaves above.)