Frolicking Tanuki Provides Heartwarming Moment at Hokkaidō’s Obihiro Zoo

Guide to Japan

An ezo tanuki at Obihiro Zoo in Hokkaidō has won hearts on social media thanks to a perfectly timed photo. The picture captured the furry creature with a red leaf stuck on the bridge of its nose as it rummaged through a pile of dry foliage looking for food. The zoo, located inside Midorigaoka Park in Obihiro, shared the humorous scene on its official Twitter account, drawing a variety of responses from followers.

Caretaker Nakayama Taishi says that he started featuring the zoo’s resident tanuki frolicking in autumn leaves on social media from the end of October, taking advantage of their foraging instincts to draw attention to the animals. According to Nakayama, who has been in charge of the ezo tanuki corner since 2019, the effort has drawn a growing number of visitors. He recommends visiting the area in the late afternoon when the tanuki become more active.

The zoo reopens to the public from December 3 after a month-long break. Hours are from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Entrance is free for junior high students and younger, ¥210 for high school students, and ¥420 for adults.

(Originally published in Japanese on Kyō on November 2, 2022. Translated and edited by Banner photo: This smile-inducing photo of an ezo tanuki at Obihiro Zoo was a hit on social media. © Tokachi Mainichi.)

[© Tokachi Mainichi/Kyōdoshi Conference. All rights reserved.]

Hokkaidō animal Kyōdoshi Obihiro