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Surprising Discovery - Raccoon Dogs in Shanghai !
Lens: DA*300 + AFA x1.7 Camera: K5 Photo Location: Shanghai 
Posted By: Frogfish, 04-01-2011, 12:42 PM

Wild mammals in Shanghai - wonderful ! Today I went back to my favourite birding haunt - Shanghai Zoo - to see if I could find the Hoopoes again (no luck - too many people as tomorrow starts a public holiday). Instead I amazingly found 3 Raccoon Dogs, happily living in the wooded areas of the zoo.

I should explain, Shanghai Zoo is an incredibly interesting place, not like any other zoo I've ever been to. There are more areas set aside as huge public fields, copses and ponds than there are for the exhibits ! You should be able to see this in the plan below.

Instead of my usual spots I decided to walk around and see if there were any other areas I hadn't yet explored. There are little tracks and paths that lead you to the most unexpected places, canals with a felled tree across it, wild overgrown ponds and walks through 10 metre high bamboo which you exit onto yet another small private field.

However where the Raccoon Dogs had set up home was not even in one of these secluded areas - it was on the bank of a canal, 35 metres to a zig zag wooden bridge on the left, 70 metres to a small humped back bridge on the right, 50 metres to a public pathway , through dense woods, behind them and with the canal and a high hedge shielding them from a children's horse riding track in front. See the two location shots below.

The only way the Raccoon Dogs could be seen was from the Zig Zag bridge - if you knew what to look for or were just downright lucky or if you pushed through the hedge on the opposite side of the canal, and there was no obvious reason for anyone to do that ..... so I just got lucky. I got their attention for these shots by, I guess we can call it the mammal version of 'phishing' for birds, just by emitting a few high pitched squeaks and smacking sounds from pursing my lips ! The stood up to see what the strange sounds were then promptly settled back down to enjoy their sunbathing again.

Hope you enjoy this amazing discovery at least a little bit as much as I did !

#1 - Plan of the Zoo



#2 - The view from the Zig Zag Bridge. Can you see the Raccoon Dogs ?



#3 - The view from opposite their home - after pushing through a high hedge.



#4 - Home ! Yes, up that water culvert.



#5 - Shock ! This Blackbird was in for the fright of it's life when they spotted each other ! Good for a size comparison.



#6 - Spotted !



#7 - Debate



#10 - Warning ?



#11 - Alone



#12 - Carefree



Finished sunbathing for the day they headed back home whilst I was working my way around to the opposite side .... until next time, the pups should be born in April or May !
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04-01-2011, 03:20 PM   #2
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wonderful series.... lush foliage... and never heard of raccoon dogs before.... interesting creatures... excellent 'captures'.... i guess they're not nocturnal (like raccoons here)
hope you don't mind that i've added this link ..... fascinating subject... thanks for the posting... dave m.

Raccoon Dog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
04-01-2011, 03:31 PM   #3
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Beautiful shots of some very photogenic animals !!!!!


Eric
04-01-2011, 07:42 PM   #4
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That is too cool, what a mini adventure and to capture them that well, what a beautiful animal. Are they indigenous to the area, just never heard of them before. The zoo is so wide open, it looks like you are taking photos in the wild, really enjoyed the view. thanks Bob

04-02-2011, 01:06 AM   #5
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Thank you Dave - you are not alone, I've lived in China for 15 years and had never heard of them before ..... they are anything but commonplace !

Thank you Eric - I'm pleased you enjoyed the thread.

Cheers Bob. The link Dave gave to Wikipedia explains a lot about them. Indigenous to East Asia and introduced into parts of Eastern Europe (where they are considered a pest and are one of the favourite foods of Wolves) ! Shanghai Zoo - it is. I took quite a few photos of it that I plan to put into a thread showing how unusual this zoo is. Lots of wide open fields, ponds, canals and copses. It's as much a place of people to be .. as to see. I often go there for wild birds and have actually walked around for more than an hour without seeing even on cage (most seem to be together, mainly around the perimeter).
04-02-2011, 05:33 AM   #6
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What a fantastic place, Kevin. I read your story before looking at the pictures and was excited as if it was my own discovery. Very charming animals, and congrats on discovering them. I could live at the Shanghai Zoo.
04-02-2011, 06:37 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tamia Quote
What a fantastic place, Kevin. I read your story before looking at the pictures and was excited as if it was my own discovery. Very charming animals, and congrats on discovering them. I could live at the Shanghai Zoo.
Ha ha - thank you Tamia ! I am preparing photos for a thread on the non-exhibit side of the zoo - then you can see if it would make a suitable home for you !
04-02-2011, 08:28 AM   #8
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What a wonderful zoo. Would love to visit it someday. My poor eyes need some relief due to the strain trying to find the dogs in the first four photos of the landscape. I was so excited when I finally spotted one that I had to go back and look at the first ones all over again. Then you posted their portraits. They are beautiful creatures and thanks a lot for sharing them with us.

04-02-2011, 11:22 AM   #9
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Ha ha - well I hope you enjoyed your R.Dog search Susan ! I'm pleased you enjoyed the thread.
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