Nine Raccoon Dog Pups Were Born In Mexico City Zoo

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Photo by Alfredo Estrella / AFP Photo

View of a group of raccoon dogs or Tanuki (Nyctereutes procyonoides) at the Chapultpec Zoo in Mexico City on August 06, 2015. A month ago nine raccoon dog pups were born. This species is native from Japan and China, and the parents of the cubs were donated by Japan.

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Photo by Alfredo Estrella / AFP Photo

As the tanuki, the animal has been significant in Japanese folklore since ancient times. The legendary tanuki, is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absentminded. It is also a common theme in Japanese art, especially statuary.

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Photo by Alfredo Estrella / AFP Photo

“Tanuki” is often mistakenly translated into English as “badger” or “raccoon”, two unrelated types of animals with superficially similar appearances. Traditionally, different areas of Japan had different names for raccoon dogs as animals, which would be used to denote different animals in other parts of the country, including badgers and wild cats; however, the official word in the standard Tokyo dialect is now “tanuki”, a term that also carries the folkloric significance.

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Photo by Alfredo Estrella / AFP Photo

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Photo by Alfredo Estrella / AFP Photo

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Photo by Alfredo Estrella / AFP Photo

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Photo by Alfredo Estrella / AFP Photo

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Photo by Alfredo Estrella / AFP Photo

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Photo by Alfredo Estrella / AFP Photo

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