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Cheeky trainspotting raccoons finally go off the rails

KYOTO--Even wild animals get itchy feet and want to take a trip to some place new and exciting, espe

KYOTO--Even wild animals get itchy feet and want to take a trip to some place new and exciting, especially if a long holiday weekend is approaching.

Or perhaps the two raccoons that boarded a locomotive here were simply trainspotters adding another engine to their "seen it-done it" list.

The young animals moseyed into the single-car train at Eizan Electric Railway Co.’s Demachiyanagi Station in Kyoto’s Sakyo Ward around 11 p.m. July 13.

But after company employee Takeyuki Onishi, 49, snapped a picture of the unusual passengers, they jumped back off the train.

Raccoons might be cute, but Eizan Electric Railway finds them bothersome because sometimes they move on to the tracks and cause delays.

On this occasion, the raccoons--called "tanuki" in Japanese--followed every safety precaution to the letter, doing things by the book.

First, one of them looked into the car from the platform. The other one then appeared, and both boarded the train.

But after about 20 seconds the curious pair hopped off, according to Onishi.

“They probably realized they didn't have tickets,” he quipped.

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