A raccoon minding its own business in southwest Iceland was attacked and killed by a dog. It is unknown how or when the animal made it to Iceland, as they are not native to the country.
RÚV reports that the raccoon was spotted near Hafnir, on the western tip of Suðurnes, yesterday. Birgir Hauksson was out by the sea, walking his dog without a leash, when the dog spotted the raccoon and reportedly immediately attacked it.
Birgir told reporters that at first, he thought his dog had found a mink (a species that does live in Iceland and is considered a pest). But the sound of the animal’s cries of pain were different from that of a mink, he decided, and figured instead that his dog was attacking a cat. Closing in on the scene, Birgir discovered that his dog had attacked and killed a raccoon.
Raccoons are exceedingly rare in Iceland, but they have been spotted before. Animal ecologist Kristinn Haukur Skarphéðinsson told reporters that raccoons were first imported to Iceland in 1930, for a fur farm, which was in operation for about 20 years. He emphasised that raccoons are not dangerous animals.
Raccoons are actually protected by Icelandic law, and Kristinn recommends that the animal be examined by specialists. It is still unknown how the raccoon ended up in Iceland.