Raccoon dogs in Mexico - level 3
A Mexico City zoo has welcomed a litter of nine raccoon dog pups, seven male and two female, the second successful birth of this species in the country. The litter, which was born last April, made their public debut this week.
From birth, the proud parents have provided the necessary care for their offspring, who are in good health and developing properly. Their current diet consists of apples, oranges, red meat, poultry and biscuits.
The pups' parents were sent to Mexico in July, 2013 and this is the only institution in the country to house this species.
Raccoon dogs, or also known as Tanuki dogs, are similar to small foxes, with a mask around their eyes similar to that of a raccoon, hence its name. To communicate, they emit a kind of a bark, are naturally omnivores, feeding on insects, small rodents, amphibians, shellfish, poultry, eggs, plant leaves, roots and a variety of fruits.
Difficult words: litter (the group of young animals born to an animal at one time), species (a kind of animal), house verb (to provide somebody with a space to live), hence (for this reason), emit (to make), omnivorous (feeding on both plants and meat), rodent (an animal like a mouse or a rat), amphibian (an animal like a frog).
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