Raccoon dog found hiding under car in Boston

The raccoon dog found in Boston. Picture: RSPCA

The raccoon dog found in Boston. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

It's not the sort of thing you expect to find under your car.

This raccoon dog - also known as a tanuki - was found in Kirton Holme, near Boston, on Easter Monday by a woman who alerted the RSPCA.

Inspector Becky Harper went to the scene to catch the animal. She said: 'The lady was alerted to him by her dogs barking at the little creature who was hiding under a water tank in the garden.

'When I arrived, the caller had managed to confine him in an outbuilding by barricading the doorway which thankfully made it much easier for me to catch him.

'He was huddled under a car and was clearly very nervous. Thankfully, he hadn't suffered any injuries and was in fairly good condition. He wasn't totally wild and seemed to be used to having people nearby but didn't want to be touched or stroked.

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'I took a vari-kennel pet carrier into the outbuilding and tried to coax him in using food but he was very timid. Eventually I was able to calmly corral him in.'

The raccoon dog - now nicknamed Cedric by RSPCA staff - was taken to a nearby vets for an assessment. Unfortunately, he wasn't chipped so he was transferred to the charity's specialist wildlife centre in Cheshire.

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The tanuki - originally from Asia - was registered on Pets Located and posted on social media and various lost and found forums but sadly no one has come forward to claim him.

'As he has not been claimed, he will be rehomed to a specialist keeper who can care for him properly,' Insp Harper said. 'While he is very cute, we'd like to stress that raccoon dogs don't make good pets. They are wild animals and, while they sadly seem to be becoming more popular as pets in the UK, we would strongly discourage people from buying or keeping one as a pet.

'They need a great deal of space and their needs cannot be met in a typical domestic environment If they escape or are released into the wild they are a high invasive non-native species risk to our native wildlife.'

In recent years the RSPCA has dealt with a number of call-outs to stray pet raccoon dogs that have escaped, or been deliberately released to the wild. It is offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) to release these animals, or allow them to escape, into the wild.

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