Zoo Atlanta welcomes two new raccoon dogs
Monday, August 13, 2012

Loki and Thor debut in Trader’s Alley

A popular pathway at Zoo Atlanta is bustling again with the activities of busy canines. Loki and Thor, a pair of raccoon dogs, have made their debut in Trader’s Alley.

Two-year-old brothers Loki and Thor join the Zoo family from Parco Faunistico la Torbiera in Italy.

Raccoon dogs are native to eastern Asia, with introduced populations found in Europe. Also known as tanuki, they are named for their resemblance, rather than close relation, to raccoons. Members of the same family that includes coyotes, wolves and domestic dogs, raccoon dogs are the only canids that hibernate in winter. The species is not currently classified as endangered, but Asian populations have declined in recent years as a result of human encroachment and commercial hunting for fur. 

Loki and Thor make their new home across from Malayan sun bears Xander and Sabah in Trader’s Alley: Wildlife’s Fading Footprints, a series of exhibits opened in 2010. Devoted to the global problem of the wildlife trade, the experience features educational vignettes designed to evoke the feel of traditional Asian markets and their impact on animal populations around the world.