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By DragonGirl028 Part of the The Rise of Avatar Singi continuity.

The raccoon fox is a hybrid creature that existed in the era of Raava and into the era of the Avatar. It is found in the proto-Earth Kingdom and Fire Islands, though its numbers are dwindling in the latter location, due to hunting for its meat and fur.

Ultimately, the species would suffer complete extinction after thousands of years of existence. Due to excessive hunting, the populations found on the Fire Islands would go extinct by the time of the unification wars of the Fire Islands. By the time the airbending Guru Laghima achieved weightlessness in c. 3,829 BG, the populations found in the proto-Earth Kingdom would be extinct due to habitat loss and hunting.

Anatomy

The raccoon fox is a medium-sized, four-legged mammal with the overall appearance of a gray fox, and the facial mask, striped tail, and forepaws of a raccoon. As its name suggests, it is primarily gray in color, with a light brown underbelly, a distinctive black facial mask, and a bushy striped tail with gray and black bands. Kits are born with light gray fur, which darkens as they age.

Biology and Ecology

Habitat

The raccoon fox prefers to make its home in lowland deciduous forests and brushy woodlands of the proto-Earth Kingdom and Fire Islands. It can dig burrows and climb trees, making its den in hollow trees, stumps, or appropriated burrows.

Diet

The raccoon fox is omnivorous, feeding primarily on small mammals (including the armadillo hare in the proto-Earth Kingdom) and insects, but also consumes plant material and fruit. It has a remarkable sense of touch, and its "hyper sensitive", five-digit forepaws are protected by a thin horny-layer that becomes flexible when wet. It can identify objects before touching them with vibrissae located above their sharp, non-retractable foreclaws.

Behavior

The raccoon fox is solitary and mostly nocturnal. Although preferring to stay away from humans in dense cover, its intelligence has often gained it a reputation as a sly thief when encountering humans.

Reproduction

The raccoon fox is monogamous, and females bare a litter of 1-5 kits. Males have no role in rearing young. The young are altricial—blind and deaf at birth, but their mask already visible against their light gray fur. There is little sexual dimorphism, save for the females being slightly smaller than the males.

Connection

The raccoon fox's coloration and overall physiology resemble those of a gray fox, while its distinctive black mask, forepaws, and striped tail pattern, resemble those of a raccoon.

Trivia

  • Since being captured by Gaza in his encampment in the southeastern Fire Islands, Guilin has often been called a "scrawny raccoon fox" by the warlord for his espionage, akin to the animal's cunning and intelligent nature.
    • This was originally going to be the only mention of the animal hybrid, but an actual individual was eventually included in the chapter "Love and Lost".

See more

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