01 April 2024, by Emily Proctor

Eleven racoons escaped from AquaZoo in Leeuwarden on March 26, just hours after being delivered to the enclosure. Two of the raccoons have since been found, but nine of the animals remain on the run. 

“Trash panda” racoons on the run in Leeuwarden

The raccoons, commonly referred to as Trash Pandas due to their propensity to rummage through people’s rubbish on the hunt for food, remain on the loose around Leeuwarden in the North of the Netherlands

The animals were able to escape due to two pieces of mesh that did not fit together properly, allowing them to dig under the fence of their enclosure to eventually get out. 

AquaZoo received the 12 raccoons on March 25 from Stichting AAP, a foundation which shelters exotic animals in the Netherlands. They were kept in a special enclosure to help them get accustomed to their new surroundings when they escaped. 

Searches are ongoing to find the raccoons

Searches began taking place as soon as zookeepers realised that the animals had escaped. Residents in the local area might want to keep a lookout, especially since the animals can climb well and might be found on top of houses or in trees. However, they are likely to be very timid and scared of humans. 

The escaped raccoons have been spayed or neutered and cannot reproduce, so if they are not found and returned to the zoo they will simply die in nature. If you do think you have found one of the animals, contact the zoo, or another local animal shelter who can help safely catch and take care of the animals.

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