A raccoon has incredibly survived after eating most of the food in a refrigerated compartment where everything was kept at minus 18 for a journey between the US and Vietnam.
Shocked sailors only discovered the stowaway when they arrived in Vietnam 35 days later and found that the masked raider had eaten almost all of the meat that had been stored inside, in order to stay alive.
A spokesperson for the wildlife protection NGO ‘Education for Nature’ (ENV) said they received a call from a food firm in the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh, formerly Saigon, after a worker had suddenly been attacked by a raccoon stowed away inside a food containing arriving from the US.
The medium-sized mammal, which is native to North America, had remarkably survived 35 days inside the deep frozen container despite the fact that it was kept at a constant minus 18 degrees Celsius.
After the discovery, members of the Saigon Zoo And Botanical Garden captured the raccoon and brought it back to the zoo with them.
Zoo spokesperson Mai Khac Trung Truc said that they took careful precautions with the animal as it had spent so much time in sub-zero temperatures, which involved keeping it cool until it slowly acclimatised to warmer temperatures.
The little fellow now has an eight square metre enclosure with a series of artificial caves at the Saigon zoo.
After a week in its new home, the raccoon is said to be stable and eating around a kilogramme of meat every day, according to Truc.
He added: “This is the first time the zoo has received a raccoon from North America.”
The zoo has one other raccoon that was sent from an animal park in central Vietnam.
The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is a nocturnal, omnivorous mammal that mainly lives in forests, but also in mountainous and urban areas as well as marshland.
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