While sometimes called raccoon dogs because they are similar in appearance to raccoons, tanuki are, in fact, canids. They are more closely related to wolves, coyotes and domestic dogs than they are to raccoons. These are generalist omnivores and scavengers who tend to do well near human environments, much like raccoons and coyotes.
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While these animals chiefly are nocturnal, tanuki do spend a good amount of time foraging around in daylight hours. Tanuki evolved in climates with warm summers and cool or cold winters, so can be seen year-round in Atlanta. There are provided shelters such as hollow logs and nest boxes to stay warm or dry as needed.