Raccoon dogs may have been linked to the pandemic. What are they?

Raccoon dogs, a species native to East Asia, may have been linked to the pandemic that has spread around the world. The species, which is not a true raccoon, has been identified as a possible source of the virus that has caused the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

Raccoon dogs, also known as tanukis, are small, omnivorous mammals native to East Asia. They are related to foxes and are known for their unique facial features, which are said to resemble a raccoon. The animals are commonly kept as pets in Japan, although they can sometimes be seen in the wild in some countries.

The connection between raccoon dogs and the novel coronavirus is still unclear. Some experts have suggested that the virus may have originated from the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China, where raccoon dogs were being sold. It is believed that the animals may have been infected with the virus and then passed it on to humans.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet confirmed this theory and more research is needed to determine the exact source of the virus. However, it is important to note that raccoon dogs are not considered to be a significant risk to humans.

Raccoon dogs are generally considered to be non-aggressive and docile animals. They are usually quite small, with a body length of between 50 and 70 cm, and a weight of between 1.5 and 4 kg. They are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals, and they can be found in a variety of habitats, from forests to grasslands.

Raccoon dogs are also known for their intelligence and ability to adapt to different environments. They are considered to be quite hardy animals and can survive in harsh conditions such as cold temperatures and low food supply.

Although the exact source of the virus is still being studied, raccoon dogs have been identified as a potential source and it is important to be aware of their potential role in the pandemic. More research is needed to confirm the exact source of the virus and to ensure that humans and animals alike are protected from the disease.