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Raccoon dogs terrorising village prompt police hunt after ‘blood-curdling scream’

‘It was screaming and snarling, going absolutely mad. We ran in with two great big pieces of wood but we couldn’t get near enough to put something on it’

Colin Drury
Wednesday 29 May 2019 21:48 BST
Raccoon dogs terrorising village prompt police hunt after ‘blood-curdling scream’

A pair of “potentially dangerous” wild raccoon dogs are said to be terrorising a Nottinghamshire village after reports they attacked a goat and pony, and cornered a dog walker.

Police are searching for the animals after they escaped from an enclosure near Clarborough.

But residents say the snarling fox-sized creatures, which are native to east Asia, have already caused havoc.

Mandy Marsh, 53, and her husband Dale, 54, said their pet goat and pony were left with scratches during an attack by one of the animals, which are not actually related to raccoons but are to wolves.

It took the couple, both armed with planks of wood, two hours to chase off the creature after they were woke up by its screaming and ran outside.

Ms Marsh said: “It was actually terrifying. We were laid in bed at about 4am and I heard such a terrifying noise like I had never heard before. It was screaming. My husband went out and opened the door and the dog shot out.

“The dog was barking like mad and my husband went out after her. He came back and he said to me ‘You are going to have to come and see this, there is something in the field attacking the pony and I have absolutely no idea what it is’.

“We ran out and this animal – we now know it’s a raccoon dog – was trying to attack our goat. The pony was standing in the way trying to protect the goat. The raccoon dog was trying to kill it. It was absolutely crazy. It was hissing and screaming and snarling. It was going absolutely mad.

“We ran in with two great big pieces of wood to try and shoo it off and try and get it to go away so we could get the animals out of the field. The animals wouldn’t move because they were terrified and this thing wouldn’t budge either and was just hissing. It kept coming up and we couldn’t get near enough to put something on it. The goat and pony were going crazy. It went on for about two hours.”

She added that when they finally got rid of the creature – which eats insects and small rodents – it soon returned to corner a passing 6am dog walker.

Ms Marsh said: “A woman came along with a dog not on a lead, and saw the raccoon dog. She thought it was a cat at first. It cornered the dog. She couldn’t get to it. The dog was going crazy. It was squawking and barking and my husband grabbed it.

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“The woman eventually ran off down the lane with it – it was only a puppy – really upset. It would have killed that dog.

A spokesperson for Nottinghamshire Police said: “Residents in the Clarborough area near Retford are being warned to be vigilant after two captive raccoon dogs escaped their enclosure… The animals, which are described as being the same size of a medium to small-sized dog, are potentially dangerous if approached as they are not domesticated.

“Police are advising anyone who sees the animals to report any sightings by calling 999.”

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