Derbyshire Constabulary’s Rural Crime Team is appealing for members of the public to report any sighting of tanukis (raccoon dogs), whether dead or alive.
In the last week they have recieved a number of reports of tanukis being found dead on the side of the roads around Ashover and Matlock.
They ask that if you see any of these, whether dead or alive, to report the sighting to them by phoning 101 or messaging them on Facebook with an exact location, and ask for the information to be passed to Derbyshire Rural Crime Team.
They ask that if possible residents use the What3Words app to give a very accurate location.
Tanuki are not raccoons. They are the ancestral form of the canid family (what your dog’s ancestors looked like a million years ago). Tanuki, despite looking incredibly cute, are a potentially dangerous invasive species and should not be approached. It is illegal to sell or breed them, and those legally owned must be kept in a secure location.
Although they aren’t supposed to be in the United Kingdom, tanuki are at risk from the fur trade, hunters and armed farmers; to protect people, local wild species and the tanuki themselves, don’t advertise their location on social media.