#7 Raccoon Dog/Tanuki
Size: 20-23 ½ in. (50-60 cm.)
Weight 17 lbs. (7.5 kg)
The Raccoon Dog (Tanuki) is a member of the canine family, though it has strong resemblance to a raccoon. Tanukis travel in pairs, a male and a female. There are two very unusual traits that raccoon dogs/tanukis have that most canines don’t, the ability to climb trees and to hibernate during winter. They can be found in Japan, other Eastern Asian countries, as well as parts of Europe. But they have become extinct in parts of China.
*In the Super Mario Bros. franchise there is a leaf shaped power up that turns the characters into a Tanuki (in game spelled Tanooki). First appearing in Super Mario Bros. 3.
*Tanuki/raccoon dogs can be found throughout Japanese folklore as mischievous shapeshifters.
*Raccoon Dogs are sometimes kept as pets.
*There is only one place to see raccoon dogs in the US, The Atlanta Zoo in Atlanta, Georgia.