A couple of days ago, it was reported in the United Kingdom that some raccoon dogs were terrorizing the inhabitants of a village. The raccoon dogs were reported to have escaped from an enclosure nearby. These dogs, also known as tanukis, have the appearance of supermodel raccoons that boast lanky limbs and slender necks. They also have very deep and soulful eyes but in reality, they are wild canines that relate most closely to foxes. The stories told by the people of Nottinghamshire include a pony and goat being attacked, spooking of a dog walker, and the raccoon dogs being chased off with huge wood pieces. All these stories clearly paint the picture that one must not interact with these tanukis. However, if someone does want to keep a tanuki happy, well-fed, and looked after, how would that be possible? And what would be the appropriate measures taken in this regard?
The curator at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, Rebecca Snyder, of science and conservation, was asked this question. In addition to this, she is also served as the curator at Zoo Atlanta for mammals. There, she worked with raccoon dogs directly for several years. She explained that although these dogs are a native to eastern Asia, lately have also been brought to Europe. However, in the United States, The only two places known for having the raccoon dogs in the collection are the accredited zoos of the Oklahoma City and Atlanta.
Snyder said that these dogs are always curious but at the same time shy too. They are also fun to handle yet possess the potential to cause havoc if they escape. She explained that the destruction they can cause is not just of the type that the people of Nottinghamshire had to face but of ecological type as well.