Introducing the raccoon dog: wild, cute, increasing in numbers, and a terrible pet
Most people haven’t heard of the raccoon dog, an amazing little mammal indigenous to East Asia that are increasing in numbers across Europe and North America!
Despite the name and distincitve markings similar to a raccoon. Raccoon dogs are actually a member of the Canidae family, alongside foxes, wolves and domesticated dogs, rather than raccoons!
Sadly, despite their cute appearance, it’s not a good idea to keep one as a pet, due to them being nocturnal, as well as the fact that they carry many diseases and wipe local wildlife.
Their natural environment is forest areas and woodland, close-by the water! They are most comfortable in marshes and ponds, where they can easily forage for food.
They have monogamous relationships, and mated pairs always work together when raising their young. The male will bring food to support the pregnant female.
Despite their size, their curved claws make it easy for them to climb up trees and look for fruit and berries on the branches.
Due to frequent appearances in Japanese folklore, the raccoon dogs, known as ‘tanuki’ have statues made of them and placed at the entrance of restaurants and shops, as a sign of good fortune.
Raccoon dogs hibernate in pairs, and they are uniquely the only danids that go into hibernation!
Listen to how cute their little voices are!
Their thick fur and dense undercoat allows them to keep warm during winter.