Steve Kaufman/Corbis

The raccoon dog is the only canid species that hibernates.

A solitary nocturnal forager, it eats a variety of things, including frogs, reptiles, rodents, fish, berries, fruit, and seeds.

A particularly abundant food source, such as a fruiting tree or a garbage dump, will attract a whole group of raccoon dogs.

In the day, the raccoon dog rests in its burrow, where — in the northern parts of its range — it spends November to March in a state of lethargy.

Because its long, thick fur, known as "ussuri raccoon," has commercial value, the raccoon dog was introduced in Europe, where it spread across much of the continent.

Ironically, its fur does not grow as thick or long outside its natural habitat, rendering the fur from Europe virtually worthless.

Animal Facts

Name: Raccoon Dog (Nyctereuctes procyonoides)

Family: Canidae (Dogs and Relatives)

Range: Siberia to Japan and northern India; introduced in Europe

Habitat: Deciduous forest

Diet: Plants, fruits, insects, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, birds, small mammals, and carrion

Head and Body Length: 20 to 27 inches (50 to 68 cm)

Tail Length: 5 to 10 inches (13 to 25 cm)

Weight: 9 to 22 pounds (4 to 10 kg)

Life Cycle: Mating January to March; gestation 59 to 64 days, four to eight pups born

Description: Long, yellow-tinged, gray to black coat; black facial patches; white muzzle, short-furred legs; bushy tail

Conservation Status: Common

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