Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Escapee raccoon found safe and well

Female raccoon Missy, who escaped by digging out of her enclosure, has been found five weeks after her great escape
Female raccoon Missy, who escaped by digging out of her enclosure, has been found five weeks after her great escape
Female raccoon Missy, who escaped from the zoo by digging out of her enclosure but has been found five weeks after her great escape (Chris Moiser/PA)

A raccoon who escaped from a zoo by digging out of her enclosure has been found - five weeks after her great escape.

Female raccoon Missy excavated a large hole in her cage to leave Tropiquaria in Washford, Somerset.

The ground had softened thanks to recent flooding in the area - allowing the 18-month-old animal to dig her way out.

Members of the public were warned to immediately call keepers if they spotted the fugitive and not approach her as she could bite.

Chris Moiser, zoological director at Tropiquaria, said Missy had been discovered sleeping in a disused building behind the enclosure.

"It was difficult getting her back because we had a very confined space to catch her in and we didn't want to hurt her getting her out," Mr Moiser said.

"We had borrowed a live trap for cats from our local vets, but she was too smart, she would help herself to the food whilst holding the trapdoor open with a back paw."

Mr Moiser said the raccoon could only be tempted out of the building and into her cage by her favourite dog biscuits.

Her partner, six-year-old male raccoon Rocky, was distracted with a bag of marshmallows elsewhere, Mr Moiser said.

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