A rare and unusual pet has gone missing after she was brought together with a partner in time for Valentine’s Day.
Devastated owner Charlie Plumb has been caring for Palesa, a Tanuki which is an Asian fox, since adopting her from a rescue shelter.
Palesa is also known as a Japanese raccoon dog after the incredible likeness to a raccoon.
Earlier this week, Mr Plumb brought the seven-month-old pet a male companion, called Simba.
After a rough start the pair were seen laid together in time for Valentine’s Day. But when Mr Plumb went to check on the pair in their enclosure, Palesa was missing.
This comes just over a week after police showed up at a car boot sale where Mr Plumb was attending with Palesa after someone mistook her for a badger on a lead. He said that at first Palesa was nervous around loud noises and humans. He said: “My partner and I decided to take her out to get her used to human contact and noises and now she is always being stroked. This was the second time that we had taken her to Rufforth car boot sale.
“A PCSO walked up to me and said we’ve had a report that some one is dragging an unhappy looking badger.”
Palesa is often mistaken for a racoon and Mr Plumb has had countless people come up to him asking about his pet raccoon, but he is always willing to explain.
“It was really upsetting that someone would call the police and waste their time without having spoken to me about it,” said Charlie. “I take her everywhere with me, even if it is just to the pet store. People ask me about her all the time and she is often mistaken for a racoon.
“It’s better just to approach me, I am approachable, I haven’t got a killer badger – just take the time to ask.”
Mr Plumb, who owns an exotic animal company, Hi n Lo Exotics, is used to people asking about his many animals, from snakes to birds of prey and he will soon make a home for two young meerkats.
But now he has been left distraught after he found that much-loved Palesa had broken out of her enclosure.
Mr Plumb said: “If anyone sees her, try and approach her slowly with some fruit and then grab her by the back of her neck like how all parents carry their young. She doesn’t bite – she’s a real softy. I’m gutted, I just want her back alive.”
Palesa went missing from her enclosure on Volage Court in the early hours of Tuesday morning (February 14).
At the time the Pocklington Post went to print Palesa was still missing. If you’ve seen her, call Mr Plumb on 07526 726626 or contact him on his Facebook page Hi n Lo Exotics.