The Japanese raccoon dog is an endangered species that inhabits Japan. Subspecies from Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu are distinguished from Hokkaido and continental subspecies. I prefer broad-leaved forests with dense undergrowth near the water’s edge, which are distributed up to the subalpine zone above 2000 m above sea level and can be hidden. It is nocturnal and omnivorous. It is highly omnivorous and eats not only fish and insects, but also rodents, bird meat and its eggs, as well as carcasses of animals, fruits, leaves and stems that are likely to be eaten.
It inhabits a wide area such as Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu in Japan.
It is 40-50 cm long and weighs 3-5 kg. Five fingers in front and four fingers in the back. Only the big toe of the forefoot is separated from the other fingers and does not reach the ground. The body shape is said to be a characteristic of the round and primitive canidae. Hair grows once in summer and once in winter. It is a species belonging to the genus Nyctereutes in the family Canidae. Basically, you make a burrow yourself and live in it. Sometimes we use holes dug by foxes and bears.
The life is said to be about 10 years. It seems to be about 5 years in the wild. Food is omnivorous, and you can eat not only human garbage and crops, but also frogs, snakes, insects, crayfish, and many other things. Basically, we are absent in the morning and noon, and we are active at night. Births occur in burrows around March and can give birth to 3-5 heads at a time. As a child, I spend time with my parents and become independent in the fall and winter. Some raccoon dogs stay within their parents’ areas of activity.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List (an indicator of the risk of extinction) classifies it as “LC”, which is low risk among low risk. There is no danger of extinction yet, but humans often develop roads and are hit by cars and die. In the Japanese animated movie “Heisei Tanuki Battle Pom Poko”, there is a scene where a wild raccoon dog comes out to the city and is hit by a car and dies, and that is exactly the case. As the area where raccoon dogs can live has decreased, they are now appearing in places where humans live.
Pretending to be dead
Pretending to be asleep while actually awake is called “tanuki falling asleep”, but when the actual raccoon is surprised, it is said to pretend to be dead. The raccoon dog is an animal that is prone to fainting due to chattering. It seems that you can’t move when you hear gunshots or explosions. Humans call this pretending to be dead.