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'Dangerous' raccoon dog escape prompts police warning

image copyrightMandy Marsh
image captionOne of the raccoon dogs was photographed at a farm

Two "potentially dangerous" raccoon dogs have escaped from an enclosure.

It is believed the Japanese mammals - also known as tanukis - dug out of the pen in Big Lane, Clarborough, at about 06:00 BST on Tuesday.

One was photographed a short time later at a nearby farm and is reported to have attacked a goat.

Nottinghamshire Police urged the public not to approach the animals as they are "potentially dangerous" and not domesticated.

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Mandy Marsh, 53, told the Independent their pet goat and pony were attacked by one of the animals.

"I heard such a terrifying noise like I had never heard before," she said.

"It was screaming. We ran out and this animal - we now know it's a raccoon dog - was trying to attack our goat.

"The raccoon dog was trying to kill it. It was absolutely crazy. It was hissing and screaming and snarling. It was going absolutely mad."

Ms Marsh said she and her husband shooed the animal away with "great big pieces of wood" before it returned and cornered a dog walker who got away.

The owner of the raccoon dogs said the animals were "less dangerous than a fox" and every effort was being made to find them.

Anyone who spots the dogs is advised to call 999.

Raccoon dogs

image copyrightGetty Images
  • Native to the forests of eastern Siberia, northern China, north Vietnam, Korea and Japan
  • Now widespread in some European countries due to escapes
  • Omnivores that feed on insects, rodents, amphibians, birds, fish, molluscs and carrion
  • The RSPCA "strongly" discourages people from keeping them as pets
  • "Extremely smelly", the charity says, as they use a scent to communicate

Source: RSPCA

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