The tanuki is a wild canid species native to East Asia that is related to wolves, foxes, and domestic dogs. They are also known as "raccoon dogs", as they are members of the dog family and bear some similarities in appearance with raccoons - but they are very different species to raccoons!
Unfortunately, these beautiful animals are often kept in cruel fur farms and used for their attractive coats. Most of the poor animals kept and sold for their fur are bred in captivity and spend their entire lives in tiny cages. Even when clothing is advertised as cruelty-free faux fur, in some cases this has been known to be a false statement, and it's worth knowing how to check for yourself to help to keep tanuki safe!
Originally introduced into Russia to bolster the trapping trade in the early 20th century, the tanuki has spread across all of Europe, where they are now considered an Alien Invasive Species. Here in England we must hold a permit from the APHA to be able to keep and care for tanuki, and we are subject to very strict rules on how they must be cared for. This is just one of many inspections and permits we must hold here at the sanctuary to care for our residents in the best way possible and keep them safe.