Warning for public as Rab the Raccoon still at large

The raccoon which was found at a house in Ballymena.
The raccoon which was found at a house in Ballymena.

Police have re-issued their appeal for sightings of Rab the Raccoon but have once again warned not to approach him if spotted.

The Times broke the story with our exclusive video of ‘Rab’ relaxing on a roof over a fortnight ago and as the publicity grew, so has the number of sightings.

However he still remains at large and while police have told people to keep on the look out but they have also warned residents not to approach the animal.

PSNI Wildlife Officer Marianne Breen said: “Police have received a report that a raccoon has escaped from a mini-zoo on Linenhall Street, Ballymena.

“The racoon has since been spotted in the local area but it is not thought to pose a risk to people.

However, members of the public are advised that the raccoon is defined as a dangerous wild animal and so it shouldn’t be approached. If you do see the racoon please call police on the non-emergency number 101.”

Richard Potter, of local pet shop Jungle World, contacted the Times after he saw our earlier story, “He has been missing for around six weeks. We have had a couple of sightings but nothing recently until the story appeared on the Ballymena Times website,” explained Richard.

The inquisitive animal made his break during building work on a new enclosure at the Linenhall Street complex.

He added: “This raccoon scraped the mortar away from around the stone and got out the cavity in the wall.

“It was quite an unpredictable escape - we should have called him Houdini!