Despite its name, the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) is not related to the raccoon but is a member of the canidae. Originating in Asia, raccoon dogs were introduced to some parts of Russia for fur production and wild populations have become established there and in some other European countries. These fox-sized carnivores are recognizable by the long grey fur and distinctive black and white facial markings. They tend to live in old fox dens or badger sets typically underneath tree roots and feed on a varied diet of rodents, frogs, nuts and roots.
The arrival of wild populations of raccoon dogs in several European countries, including Germany, and parts of the Netherlands and Belgium is of interest due to the possibility of them carrying zoonotic diseases such as rabies and Echinococcosis.
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