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Meet the new arrivals at Sewerby Hall

New arrivals at Sewerby Hall
New arrivals at Sewerby Hall

The raccoon dogs at Sewerby Hall are parents - after the birth of eight puppies.

Mum Oona arrived at the attraction's zoo last summer, joining Bandit, the male adult - and six weeks ago the new babies were born. The puppies are born blind, and their eyes open after nine to 10 days.

New arrivals at Sewerby Hall

New arrivals at Sewerby Hall

John Pickering, head zoo keeper at Sewerby Hall and Gardens, said : “These births are great news for the zoo here, and I am delighted to report that all are healthy and progressing well, as are the parents.”

Raccoon dogs are usually found in East Asia, in forests and woodland, and live on a diet of fish, rodents, seeds, nuts, fruit and berries.

Despite their similarities to raccoons, they are not genetically related to them, and are in fact more closely related to dogs.

During the summer, raccoon dogs build up their fat reserves in preparation for winter. They are the only dog-like mammal which can hibernate, although they only do so in severe weather conditions. They weigh approximately six kilogrammes and are around 45-70 cm in length.

New arrivals at Sewerby Hall

New arrivals at Sewerby Hall

In the wild, they are not known as a social species, spending time alone or in pairs, scavenging for food.