Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A British family contacted animal rescuers when they discovered the animal living under their deck was an Asian raccoon dog.
Ben Crane said he and his family knew there had been an animal living under the deck outside their Loudwater, Hertfordshire, home for about two months before they managed to catch a glimpse of it.
"We thought it could be a badger or silver fox, however, having seen it a couple of times of an evening and the strange noises it was making, we were intrigued to find out what this could be as we have never seen anything like this before," Crane said.
"A few weeks later we saw this animal walking around our garden during the day and managed to take some photographs. After doing some research and contacting the RSPCA it was confirmed that this was indeed a raccoon dog," he said.
RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Kate Wright helped Crane and his family set a live trap for the raccoon dog, a fox-like Asian species also known as a tanuki.
Crane said the raccoon dog eventually ended up inside the trap when he baited it with ham and cocktail sausages.
Wright said the animal is being cared for at a sanctuary while the RSPCA searches for its owner.
"We believe this raccoon dog is an escaped pet who ventured into this garden after being set free, abandoned or escaping from his enclosure," Wright said.