Raccoon sneaks into Vietnam from US aboard refrigerated container

By Phan Anh, Dinh VanOctober 5, 2020 | 09:23 pm PT
Raccoon sneaks into Vietnam from US aboard refrigerated container
A raccoon found inside a freezer food container from the U.S. in late September stays at the Saigon Zoo. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Van.
A raccoon that stowed away in a refrigerated container sent from the U.S. to Vietnam has been handed over to the Saigon zoo.

Wildlife protection NGO Education for Nature (ENV) said it received a call from a Saigon food company on September 30 saying a staff member had been attacked by a raccoon that was inside a food container arriving from the U.S.

It had survived 35 days in temperatures of close to minus 18 degrees Celsius, eating through most of the food inside, which included meat.

After the discovery, the rescue team from the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden managed to secure the raccoon and bring it back to the zoo.

Mai Khac Trung Truc, director of the zoo’s animal division, said since the animal had spent so much time in sub-zero temperatures, it was at first placed amidst ice before being let get used to the warm environment over the next hour.

The raccoon now stays in an eight sq.m cage with twigs and artificial caves. After a week at the zoo, it is stable and eats around a kilogram of meat, including beef and chicken, a day, said Truc.

"This is the first time the zoo has received a raccoon from North America," he said.

The zoo has another raccoon sent from Da Nang in central Vietnam.

The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is a nocturnal, omnivorous mammal native to North America. It is mainly found in forests, but also in mountainous areas, marshes and urban areas.

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