Raccoon Dogs arrive at Animal Management Unit
We have recently added two Raccoon Dogs (Latin name: Nyctereutes procyonoides) to our ever growing and varied collection of animals at our Animal Management unit.
(Stock Image for example)
The raccoon dog is a small species of canine, native to parts of eastern Asia. As it's name suggests, this wild dog has markings that closely resemble those of a raccoon, but despite their similarities however, raccoons and raccoon dogs are not actually closely related.
The two females are ex-pets and are on loan to the College after being housed at Five Sisters Zoo. We have allowed them as much space as possible, with a naturalistic enclosure, demonstrating the importance of treating them as wild animals rather than pets.
In various practical classes over the last couple of weeks Animal Management students from Level 1 through to Level 3, as well as students from the Rural Community Free School, have been responsible for planting the enclosure, dig proofing the perimeter fence, digging and lining the pond and installing the electric fence.
Work finished on the enclosure last week and the hatch was opened on Tuesday. Despite not leaving their house for a couple of days the dogs have slowly started exploring their enclosure. Students have been asked to be very quiet when walking past the enclosure as they are still a little skittish while adjusting to their new surroundings
Camera traps have been set up to capture any night time activity and we have been lucky enough to capture some exciting footage of one looking for food and finding a quail to eat. See here
Thanks to the fantastic efforts from the huge range of students and staff the enclosure looks amazing and feedback from the students was really positive, saying they really enjoyed the project.
Once the dogs are out of their isolation period and have been given time to settle and learn their new quarters, their daily husbandry will be carried out by our Further Education students who are looking forward to working with them.
We have named the Dogs Pom and Poko!