UPDATE: What is this raccoon-like creature spotted in a garden near Boston?

Efforts are being made to safely capture the unusual 'raccoon dog' feeding in a garden in Kirton.
Efforts are being made to safely capture the unusual 'raccoon dog' feeding in a garden in Kirton.

We are familiar with images of foxes and badgers feeding in our British gardens - but not this creature.

This ‘raccoon dog’ has been spotted in Kirton - and late last night (Monday) the creature was safely captured and rescued by The Ark exotic animal rescue.

Monday 17.10pm: The animal, a type of wild dog native to East Asia, is believed to have either escaped from a local exotic pet owner - or been abandoned.

While the creatures have a very similar appearance and markings to raccoons, the species are closer relatives to foxes.

This image of one enjoying a bowl of food was shared online by The Ark wildlife park and exotic animal rescue, which has seven of the creatures at its site in Stickney - but this is not one of them.

Writing on their Facebook page, a spokesman said: “We’ve had a call about a sighting of a raccoon dog in a garden in the Kirton.

One of the Ark's seven rescued raccoon dogs. The creature spotted in Kirton is not one of them.

One of the Ark's seven rescued raccoon dogs. The creature spotted in Kirton is not one of them.

“We are currently looking around the area but it could be in back gardens/sheds seeking shelter.

“It shouldn’t be any danger to people unless you try and corner it, their instinct is flight over fight.

“But if seen please do not try and approach it as we don’t know its temperament. Contact us and give details of location and time spotted. If possible trap in garden.”

They added: “To stress, all seven of ours are present and correct (we have checked)! This will have been a pet either dumped or escaped, as they are not native to the UK and are a Japanese wild dog (aka Tanuki)”

Contact the Ark via their Facebook page - or call 01205 481468.