'Unpredictable' raccoon dog terrorising locals as it's on the loose – with families told NOT to approach wild animal

AN unpredictable raccoon dog known for terrorising locals is on the loose.

The potentially dangerous animal has been on the run for a month and could have travelled up to eight miles by itself in the countryside, officials believe.


Families were warned not to approach the omnivore after it was reported missing on Monday by Natural Resources Wales, which said it escaped its home.

But it had already been in the wild for several weeks, the Mirror reported.

The only confirmed sighting of it so far being last month in Coelbren, Powys.

Warning leaflets were distributed to residents. Natural Resources Wales said: "Raccoon dogs will naturally range further in the wild and so could be seen more than eight miles away.

"They are small, nocturnal fox-sized animals, originally from East Asia that look like raccoons.

"Their diet includes fruit, insects, rodents, frogs, birds and eggs so they can have a negative impact on native wildlife.

"If you think you might have spotted one (dead or alive), or know where it might have escaped from please report this as soon as possible.

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"As with any wild animal, their behaviour may be unpredictable and are not to be approached."

The extremely smelly wild, fox-like creatures is the size of a medium dog. They can bite if they feel threatened by humans.

The wild, fox-like creatures have been known to terrorise people before.In July 2020, one was captured and destroyed in Carmarthenshire.

And in May 2019, villagers in Clarborough, Notts, said they were under siege by two of the animals, which let out a "blood-curdling scream".

It is legal to keep raccoon dogs as pets but the RSPCA advises against it. It became illegal to sell the animal in February 2019 as they pose a risk to native species in Europe.

It is also illegal to breed them.

An RSPCA spokesman said: “Raccoon dogs are not domesticated pets. They need a great deal of space and their needs simply cannot be met in a typical household. They’re also extremely smelly, as they use scent to communicate with one another.”

Raccoon dog UK sightings

January 2022 – One seen in Coelbren, Powys

July 2020 – One seen in Pumsaint, Carmarthenshire

May 2019 – Two seen in Clarborough, Nottinghamshire

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