The Japanese Ministry of the Environment reported a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus in a raccoon dog, or tanuki in Sapporo, Hokkaido.
Hokkaido University collected the debilitated individual raccoon dog, which died on April 1. On April 7, Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1 subtype) was detected as a result of conducting a genetic test in an original test conducted by Hokkaido University.
Officials note this as the first case of bird flu being detected in a mammal in the country.
The tanuki was found in an area where a number of bird flu positive dead crows were detected. It has been suggested that it may have been transmitted by predation of birds infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza.