Apparently it's a canid native to Asia that looks similar to a raccoon, though the two aren't closely related.
My wife (Korean) said she uses the term to refer to raccoons as well, so they can be considered more or less interchangeable.
I'm curious to know whether it's okay to say "tanuki" like that ^ as well. I mean I said raccoon dog, but I'm just wondering.
actually, it's very common for ppl from seoul to pronounce 어 as 아, it confused me lot until i learned about regional accents and read about gyeongi-do (the dialect used in seoul)
The way she says 아 and 어 are very similar, but are very subtly distinguishable.
also they use it for normal raccoons as well. in fact you can go to raccoon cafes. you don't eat them but you do get to play with raccoons. it was awesome not gonna lie.
One of my korean friends convinced my best friend that neoguri ramen was made with raccoon broth, and she freaked out for like a week