SEOUL, June 2 (Korea Bizwire) — The Ministry of Environment has designated ‘procyon lotors’ or raccoons as animals hazardous to the ecosystem on Monday to carry out countermeasures.
The government can designate a certain animal species as hazardous to the ecosystem if it deems that the species in question poses a threat to the environment in accordance with relevant risk assessments.
Raccoons are the first animal species to be designated as such, since the program was first established last October. They have a high resemblance to raccoon dogs and are friendly towards humans.
So far, 200 have been brought into South Korea for homes and zoos, some of which have escaped or been abandoned by their owners.
Others were kept in zoo cafes and other experience facilities where they entered into physical contact with children.
The ministry said that raccoons can cause rabies, and that people should be cautious when interacting with them.
Image Credit: Civic Group / Ministry of Environment / firstname.lastname@example.org