Police Issue Warning About Raccoon Dogs on the Loose in English Village

May 29, 2019 Updated: May 29, 2019

Raccoon dogs, which aren’t raccoons or dogs, are reportedly on the loose in a village in England, according to reports.

A raccoon dog is also known as the tanuki, mangut, or neoguri. It is a canid species found mostly in East Asia, and it’s not related to raccoons but distantly related to dogs.

Police in Nottinghamshire called on residents to “be vigilant” after two raccoon dogs escaped.

“They went missing from an enclosure in Big Lane, Clarborough at around 6 a.m. this morning (Tuesday 28 May 2019),” said the news release. “The animals, which are described as being the same size of a medium- to small-sized dog, are potentially dangerous if approached as they are not domesticated.”

People who see the animals should report them to the local authorities.

At least one other police department in the United Kingdom issued a warning about the animals. “Police are advising anyone who sees the animals to report any sightings by calling 999,” said the Retford Police.

Villager Mandy Marsh said she was woken by a “blood-curdling scream” earlier this week before her husband, Dale, and spotted the animal confronting the couple’s goat and pony, reported Fox News.

“He came back and he said to me ‘you are going to have to come and see this, there is something in the field attacking the pony and I have absolutely no idea what it is,’” Fox quoted Marsh as saying.

“This raccoon was absolutely crazy. It was hissing and screaming and snarling,” Marsh said. “It was going absolutely mad.”

The couple said they grabbed pieces of wood and chased the angry raccoon dog away, adding that it took about two hours. Their goat was scratched by the animal.

According to the report, the animal confronted a dog in the English village a short while later.

March said that a local wildlife tracker offered his services to track down the raccoon dogs. He told her that something was attacking other animals recently.

The raccoon dogs have markings and curved claws similar to raccoons, says the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums on its website.

They can weigh between 8 and 13 pounds and reach between 19 and 26 inches in length. They eat rodents, lizards, birds, frogs, fruit, and sea creatures.

Sweden classifies the animals as an invasive species. In 2009, the government called on elk hunters to shoot on sight any they might see, UPI previously reported.

The animals are known carrier of rabies and tapeworm. Meanwhile, they threaten certain species of birds.

“Raccoon dogs are wild animals—rather than domesticated pets,” U.K.’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) says, noting that the animals present “a highly invasive risk” to native species in Europe.

Raccoon dogs entered the popular lexicon after several “Mario” video games featured the ability to wear a “Tanooki Suit,” allowing Mario to fly, spin his tail, and turn into a statue.

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