We all know raccoons are cute, but mischievous. They’ve earned a bad reputation from their devious actions in our neighborhoods. But they’re also extraordinarily smart. Their problem-solving skills have inspired scientific research. Their behavior flexibility renders high success rates with puzzles and tasks when presented in captivity, and in the wild makes them adaptable creatures in both rural and urban environments. So as our homes keep spreading into theirs, raccoons may just be the little critter that’s smart enough to use us and our resources for their own good.

Dive deep into the world of animals, science, and natural history in our original video series Nat Geo Explores.

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