If you are an animal lover, then you HAVE to know these 5 cute animals in Korea.
1. 너구리 Raccoon Dog
The raccoon dog can be spotted at the wooded valley all throughout the mainland in Korea.
The “Raccoon Dog” is named for its seeming resemblance to a raccoon. Despite its name and resemblance, the raccoon dog’s closest family is the “true foxes”.
The raccoon dogs are omnivorous (eats animals and plants) and nocturnal animals (active at night).
The raccoon dogs have elongated torsos and short legs. They also have really short ears that peek slightly from their fur.
The fur of the raccoon dog is in brownish-grayish color and their abdomen being yellowish-brownish. Their cheeks are covered with whisker-like hairs.
Atypical and precious white color raccoon dog species exist in China and Japan.
Like foxes, raccoon dogs do not bark instead they growl and followed by a long melancholy whine.
Did you know that the male raccoon dogs are very supportive and loving towards the female raccoon dogs? Besides looking for food for their pregnant wife, the males also help the female raise their little pup!
2. 무산쇠족제비 Least Weasel
The Least Weasel can be found in the sub-alpine areas of the northeastern and northwestern of North Korea and also the northern side of South Korea.
The body of the least weasel is elongated and slender with their legs and tail being short. Despite its tiny size, the least weasel is a fierce hunter, competent of killing a rabbit 5-10 times its own weight.
Weasels have brown or brown-yellow fur with a white belly. Weasel’s are carnivorous animals who eat small mammals. The least weasel is the world’s smallest mammalian carnivore.
In wintertime, at higher altitudes of the northern region, the fur of the least weasel turns into pure white.
In ancient Greece, a popular superstition had it that the least weasel was previously a bride who was transformed into a bitter animal who destroys wedding dresses of other brides out of jealousy.
3. 담비 Yellow-Throated Marten
The yellow-throated marten or also known as “kharza” is the largest marten in the Old World with its tail making up to more than half of its body.
The fur is brightly colored, comprising of a special blend of golden yellow, brown, black and white.
The yellow-throated marten is an omnivore that eats fruits to a small deer. They usually hunt in pairs in daylight but may also hunt in packs of three or more.
The yellow-throated marten is a fearless animal as it only has few predators, This is due to its built and its unpleasant odor. It is also not afraid of humans, dog and can be easily tamed.
4. 족제비 Siberian Weasel
The Siberian weasel can be seen in the forest or riparian zones all throughout Korea even in Jeju Island.
The Siberian weasel has an elongated and stretched body with really short legs.
The color of their body is usually monotonous (bright reddish-ochreous color). They also have a coffee-brown mask on their face!
The fur of the Siberian weasel is used to make finest oil paint and watercolor brushes and is highly sought after by artists.
5. 승냥이 Dhole
The dhole can be found in dense forest or mountain areas all throughout the mainland of Korea.
The dhole is also known as the Asian wild dog/ Indian wild dog/red dog/ whistling dog/ mountain wolf.
As for its appearance, the dhole has been described as possessing the physical features of a red fox and a gray wolf.
Dholes are amazing communicators as they use eerie whistles to communicate among each other. Dholes are also extremely athletic as they are fast runners, impressive jumpers and excellent swimmers.
The dhole is a highly sociable animal, living in large clans and not in packs.
However, the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has listed the Dhole as an endangered species with an estimation of fewer than 2,500 adults.
In 2016, Sooam Biotech, a Korean company was reported to have attempted to clone the Dhole by using dogs as surrogate mothers in order to conserve this species.
Want to see these animals in Korea up close? Come join the fun as we have an upcoming trip from Malaysia to Korea. Click the link below to sign up!