Raccoon digs for freedom from British zoo

Jan. 28, 2014 at 12:48 PM

WASHFORD, England, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Officials at a British zoo said flood waters softened the ground enough for a raccoon to tunnel out of its enclosure.

Chris Moiser, zoological director at Tropiquaria in Washford, England, said the 18-month-old raccoon, Misty, was able to tunnel out of her enclosure due to recent flood waters softening the ground, the Mirror reported Tuesday.

"It is only with the recent flooding that the ground has softened sufficiently for her to dig out," Moiser said. "We have had a number of problems with the recent flooding and have had to evacuate some animals from outside enclosures. But we really thought that the raccoons were safe.

"Missy will not have any problems in surviving in the English climate but it does worry us that she is out," he said.

Moiser said Misty's companion, 6-year-old raccoon Rocky, has been noticeably upset since Misty made her break for freedom.

The zoo asked members of the public to be on the lookout for Misty, but they warned the animal should not be approached.

"Do not try and handle her as she may bite -- just observe her from a distance. If she does enter an outbuilding, if possible do lock her in," Moiser said.

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