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Introduction of Obihiro Zoo’s Japanese Raccoon Dogs!

This video, “しぐさが可愛い!おびひろ動物園のタヌキが人気に” (Too cute! The Popular Raccon Dogs of Obihiro Zoo!), is an interview-style video first televised on HTB News.
In the video, “buried raccoon dogs”, the adorable sight of raccoon dogs playing in the pool of fallen leaves prepared by the zoo’s staff, is shown.

But just why are the raccoon dogs of Obihiro Zoo (おびひろ動物園, Obihiro dobutsuen) burying into the fallen leaves?
In this article, we will introduce these animals along with a video of the adorable raccoon dogs peeking out from the fallen leaves.

Obihiro Zoo's Raccoon Dogs

The raccoon dogs shown in the video are named An and Shiro. Originally, the zoo staff had hidden food in the fallen leaves. However, the raccoon dogs continued to bury themselves comfortably in the pool of leaves, as shown in the video, due to the warmth provided by it.
The adorable sight of their faces peeking out from amongst the leaves can be seen from 0:25 in the video.

This video of the raccoon dogs playing in the pool of leaves was posted on Twitter by zoo staff, and began to trend on social media sites.

What Are Japanese Raccoon Dogs?

Japanese raccoon dogs are a member of the Canidae family, and are a Japanese subspecies of the Asian raccoon dog. They can be found in certain areas of Hokkaido.
Japanese raccoon dogs grow to a length of about 50 centimeters and weight about 4 to 8 kilograms. Those living in the wild have a lifespan of 6 to 8 years.
They are mostly nocturnal, and subsist on an omnivorous diet of fruits, insects, and meat.
The ezo tanuki species of Hokkaido is said to be different from the hondo tanuki species found in other areas of Japan.

Japanese raccoon dogs come under the Wildlife Protection and Hunting Act of Japan, and cannot be raised as pets without special permission.

Let’s Visit the Zoo to See the Japanese Raccoon Dogs!

The raccoon dogs can be seen in Obihiro Zoo, as introduced in the video.
However, as mentioned at 0:44 in the video, the zoo closes for a certain period of time during the winter season, so do make sure to confirm the opening days before visiting.

In recent years, the “natural behavior display”, where visitors can observe the behavior of animals in their natural habitat, has become a popular display method in zoos.
In Hokkaido, besides Obihiro Zoo, zoos such as the popular Asahiyama Zoo (旭山動物園, Asahiyama dobutsuen) and Sapporo City Maruyama Zoo (札幌市円山動物園, Sappro-shi maruyama dobutsuen) also make use of such displays.
In the souvenir shop of the zoo, you can purchase adorable raccoon dog plush toys as well.

Summary of Japanese Raccoon Dogs at Obihiro Zoo

In this one-minute video, you can get a sense of just how adorable and charming the Japanese raccoon dogs are.

As seen from 0:50 in the video, as the season begins to change to winter, the raccoon dogs’ fur grows out rapidly and becomes soft and fluffy. For those who want to view this adorable sight, definitely pay a visit to Obihiro Zoo in the winter.

【Official Website】Obihiro Zoo | Obihiro City Homepage Tokachi

Written By
Last Updated : Sep. 27, 2022
坂崎 なお(Nao Sakazaki)
Interested in Japanese culture and traditions! I'll be introducing lovely scenery to you!
Adorable Little Faces Peeking out From Under the Fallen Leaves – This Video of Japanese Raccoon Dogs Is Making the Rounds on the Internet! Why Are They Burying Into the Fallen Leaves? Here's an Introduction to the Raccoon Dogs of Hokkaido’s Obihiro Zoo!
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