Five raccoons still at large after Leeuwarden zoo escape


Five of the raccoons which escaped from the AquaZoo in Leeuwarden remain at large but six have been recaptured, the zoo authority said on Saturday.

The sixth escapee was caught in a live trap in the nature reserve opposite the zoo on Friday evening.

At the end of March, AquaZoo took in 12 raccoons from Stichting Aap, which cares for abandoned exotic animals in the Netherlands. The zoo had built a new enclosure for them, but two of the fences were not properly fixed together and 11 of the 12 escaped on their very first night in Leeuwarden.

The zoo, which is located in a rural area, set up several live traps in an effort to catch the escapees, tempting them with eggs and the sweet things that racoons love. One was recaptured immediately thanks to its love of marshmallows and cherry syrup, zoo director Jeroen Loomeijer said. The others have been picked up over the past few days.

The racoons have been sterilised and castrated so they cannot reproduce.

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