POLICE are probing claims that animal rights activists are responsible for two racoons escaping from a zoo.
Racoons Bowser and Wookie are thought to have been freed through a hole made by the unknown activists.
The one-year-old rodents who disappeared from Tropiquaria Zoo in Washford, Somerset,UK, were spotted two miles away.
Authorities said the animals can carry disease – as well as having a nasty bite – and freeing them deliberately is extremely dangerous.
Chris Moise, Thropiquiaria Zoo director said: “I believe animals were released by activists looking to cause trouble before a badger cull begins in Somerset.
He added: “I have no evidence to say it is, but I have circumstantial evidence to say it might be. The wire was folded back in a way the raccoons wouldn’t have pulled it back.”
Under the EU laws it is illegal to import, breed, sell or release raccoons into the wild as they are classed as an invasive species.
The zoo spokesperson warned people not to approach the raccoons, but to report any sightings of them to the Animal and Plant Health Agency.