Raccoon dog rescued with sausages and ham
A raccoon dog has been rescued from a garden after it was lured from a hiding place with cocktail sausages and ham.
Homeowner Ben Crane set the bait for the exotic animal which had been living under wooden decking for three months.
The RSPCA helped the family put up a trap in Loudwater, Hertfordshire, and appealed for the animal's owner to come forward and claim it from a sanctuary.
The charity's Kate Wright said the raccoon dog was thought to be an "escaped pet".
Mr Crane said his family discovered something had got in under their decking in September, but initially thought it was a badger or fox.
"Having seen it a couple of times of an evening and the strange noises it was making, we were intrigued to find out," he said.
Enticed with sausages
The animal was identified with the help of the RSPCA after the family managed to photograph it walking round their garden.
The "healthy and happy" raccoon dog was captured earlier this month.
Mr Crane said he "put some ham and cocktail sausages in there to entice it in - within half an hour it was captured".
Ms Wright said the animal would remain at the sanctuary if its owner did not come forward.
"We believe this raccoon dog is an escaped pet who ventured into this garden after being set free, abandoned or escaping from his enclosure," she said.
- Raccoon dogs are native to East Asia
- They have a similar face to a raccoon but are a member of the canine family
- Raccoon dogs stay with a partner for life
- They are known to feed on amphibians and ground-nesting birds, and are being culled in some countries due to the risk they pose to native wildlife