Obese raccoon caught after year of ransacking on the run

The raccoon was spotted on campus at the University of Sunderland. © University of Sunderland
A overweight raccoon with a penchant for leftover takeaways has finally been caught after a year on the run in the English city of Sunderland.

Weighing in at a hefty 8.1kg (18lbs), the ravenous raccoon fell for the oldest trick in the book - lured into a baited trap.

Ray Forsyth, an ambulance driver living in the area, was the first to spot the nocturnal mammal last year.

He told the Mirror he was glad it had finally been caught as it had been feeding on frogs and hedgehogs.

"It had eaten them all from our garden, so this will stop our pond from being ransacked,” said Forsyth.

It was also sighted on campus at the University of Sunderland, possibly thinking about a return to education.

When bins were being ransacked on a regular basis, officials became concerned.

The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs tracked it down and it is now vaccinated and safe while it waits for a new home. Hopefully they’ve cleaned up its diet too.

The raccoon had possibly been kept as a pet until discarded in the wild. Those who encountered it said it showed no fear of humans, wandering close to them before taking whatever food it could and running away for a midnight snack.

A number of the North American natives have been spotted in the wilds of the UK after getting away from their role as a pet, a cause for concern by some scientists.