RSPCA Cymru is appealing for information after a stray raccoon was found in a Swansea car park.
The raccoon was found earlier this morning (29 July) at Upper Fforest Way at Swansea Enterprise Park.
The raccoon is thought to be owned as he has a collar on but has not been microchipped, so we are not able to track down the owner.
RSPCA inspector Nic De Celis said: “This was quite an usual call for us in Swansea today.
“Animal collection officer Nicole Wallace was assigned the call this morning and it was initially thought that maybe someone had confused a badger with a raccoon. But it is indeed a raccoon, something you don’t see everyday.
“Although the raccoon appears tame it has been growling but is not vicious. It is currently unknown if the raccoon is male or female.
“Unfortunately as the raccoon hasn’t been microchipped we are unable to find the owner, so we are appealing for information to try and track them down. It seems to be likely an escapee.”
The raccoon has been transferred to a specialist for the time being, while enquiries are made to find the owner.
Anyone who may have information about the raccoon should contact the RSPCA inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018. Calls are treated in confidence.
The RSPCA would like to remind people to get their pets microchipped to give their lost pets the chance of returning home. It is also important to register the chip with a national database and update your contact details if you move or change phone number. More information can be found at www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/general/microchipping
Raccoons are native to southern Canada, most of the United States, Central America and northern parts of South America. In the wild they can travel 2.5km or more a night.
Because raccoons are not commonly kept as pets in the UK there is a shortage of good quality information about how to care for them properly. However anyone with a raccoon as a pet has a legal duty of care for them under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
The RSPCA has concerns about raccoons kept as pets because it is difficult to meet the needs of these non-domesticated animals in a typical household environment. As such we strongly discourage anyone from buying or keeping them. Exotic pets appear to be increasing in popularity, but as a consequence, the RSPCA is experiencing widespread neglect of exotic animals across the country and the numbers are starting to increase. For many people an exotic animal represents too much of a commitment which is manifested in the growing number of exotics being abandoned and handed to shelters around the country.
Raccoons can be particularly difficult to keep because:
They are predominantly nocturnal animals so are naturally active at night and sleep during the day.
They are excellent climbers and naturally curious which can lead to them being destructive when kept in a home.
Sexually mature raccoons can show aggressive behaviour, such as biting, during the mating season.
In the wild they do not lead completely solitary lives so it may be inappropriate to keep a single animal.
They can live between 10 and 15 years so are a considerable commitment.
You will need to find a specialist vet which experience of racoons to ensure you can get adequate medical care.
Exotic pets, such as raccoons, may need a specialist environment, diet and an experienced handler to ensure they do not suffer.
If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). We are a charity and rely on public donations to exist.