Raccoon who gatecrashed a Northamptonshire family's house through a cat-flap is given a new life at a wildlife centre
A cheeky critter who went on a rampage in a Northamptonshire family'sÂ house has proved that every raccoon-dog has its day, after landing a new home in a swish wildlife park.
On Tuesday, the woodland mammal found himself at the attention of the world's media after he gatecrashed Marek and Caroline's home in Denton Road, Horton overnight,
The photos, by 44-year-old Marek showed the raccoon dog running around the upstairs landing, hanging off a door handle and taking a nap lying on his back.
After spending a night on a cushion in the Chapanioneks' porch, the furry creature was rescued by the RSPCA.
But a spokeswoman for the animal charity has revealed that the raccoon - who the Chron has named Bert after the protagonist of the 1980s cartoon The Raccoons - has now been rehomed.
She confirmed Bert has been taken to Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Cheshire and is reportedly settling in well.
The RSPCA believes the young male may have been brought to the UK as an exotic pet, who has since escaped.
The charity spokeswoman said: "Raccoon dogs are not native to the UK so, when they are found stray, it is usually because they have been kept as a pet and have either escaped or been abandoned deliberately.
"We'd like to stress that raccoon dogs don't make good pets. They are wild animals and, while they have sadly become more popular as pets in the UK, we would strongly discourage people from buying or keeping one as a pet.
"They need a great deal of space and their needs cannot be met in a typical domestic environment If they escape or are released into the wild they are a high invasive non-native species risk to our native wildlife."
In recent years the RSPCA has dealt with a number of call-outs to stray pet raccoon dogs - or tanukis - that have escaped, or been deliberately released to the wild.
It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to release the animals, or allow them to escape, into the wild because they are not a native species to the UK.
The RSPCA had hoped to film Bert in his new digs in Chester yesterday.
However, the cheeky chap is understood to have developed camera-shyness.
After taking a boiled egg as a snack, the young male took his prize into some undergrowth and refused to come out again.