Raccoon on the run! Hunt continues for missing fluffy mammal who failed to fall for hot dog trap after escaping Sunderland city farm

Raccoon on the run! Hunt continues for missing fluffy mammal who failed to fall for hot dog trap after escaping Sunderland city farm

A raccoon is on the run, with a hunt continuing for the missing fluffy mammal after he failed to fall for a hot dog trap.

The animal Meeko – named after a raccoon in Disney film Pocohontas – has escaped from a farm in Sunderland a month ago and is still eluding frantic efforts to find him.

The mystery comes just days after a macaque monkey dubbed Kingussy Kong managed to flee Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland before being captured by a woman who tempted him with Yorkshire pudding.

A similar attempt to lure Meeko by offering up hot dogs has been in vain, however.

Meeko has been missing from Sunderland Training and Education Farm since Christmas – where a door to the raccoon enclosure was found open with three of the animals missing.

There have been sightings of the animal since he went missing from Sunderland Training and Education Farm a month ago

Treats were left for three raccoons which originally went missing from the farm in December

A trespasser has been blamed for letting out the animals who were later spotted in the nearby area of Pennywell. 

Two named Rocket and Pinch were found at the end of last month but Meeko remains on the loose, thought to still be wandering Wearside.

Farm staff are especially keen to retrieve him as raccoons’ breeding season nears.

Volunteers from the group Raccoon Rescue UK have been leading the mission, using humane traps featuring food at one end and a central trigger pad which can shut the crate door when pressed.

The provisions laid out for the raccoons have included fruit, nuts and their favoured hot dogs – but Meeko still appears to have resisted the bait.

Group member Iain Jenkins praised the trio as being ‘quite intelligent animals’ who had previously ‘get the food by tipping the trap over and accessing the food from underneath’ before finally seizing Rocket and Pinch.

And he remained confident about reuniting the pair with Meeko, saying: ‘This time of year he will want to be where the females are – so his nose as well as his instincts will lead him back.

‘It’s looking pretty good – I don’t think they’ll be a raccoon on the loose in Sunderland for much longer.’

Yet the hunt goes on, even though there have been sightings of raccoon on the run captured on camera from passing cars.  

A Japanese macaque monkey managed to get let loose for five days last month.

The animal, whose real name was revealed to be Honsh, was finally retrieved by Stephanie Banyan who was drinking coffee when spotting him in her garden – appearing to be tempted by leftover Yorkshire pudding on the ground.

The firm leading the rescue, BH Wildlife Consultancy, later released drone footage of the dramatic moment he was captured after she raised the alert. 


Aidan Radnedge

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