• Germany's news in English
 
Hunters raise alarm as raccoon invasion spreads
Photo: DPA

Hunters raise alarm as raccoon invasion spreads

Published: 14 Jan 2013 07:14 GMT+01:00

The German Hunting Association said last week that 71,071 raccoons were killed in the 2011/2012 hunting season - 3,365 more than the year before. There are an estimated half a million of the animals across the country.

The furry North American interloper is considered a pest in Germany, due to its tendency to hunt a wide variety of native animals, including birds, bats and anything else they can get their hands on.

"Environmentalists and hunters agree that raccoons must be hunted more intensively," said hunting journalist Peter Burckhardt.

"The raccoon is a well-known climber and a serious meat-eater," said Rostock zoologist Ragnar Kinzelbach. "He can get to nests in the trees that other predators can't."

Racoons began popping up across Germany in the 1930s after they were brought over from the US to Berlin and Kassel. Now they can be seen rooting around in the bins and gardens of almost every state.

“It's clear that the racoon fills an ecological niche,” said Johannes Prüter, head of the protected nature reserve around the river Elbe. He added that there was clear evidence to show their numbers were rising, and some had even been spotted raiding the nests of sea eagles.

But the raccoon was not the sea eagle's biggest worry: “The mink is much worse, it feeds along the water where water-based birds nest,” said zoologist Kinzelbach.

The blame for the invasion of Germany's new residents lay with people, said Neozoen a zoological magazine said. Our traffic and monocultural agriculture were killing off native species, which in a less stressed environment would be more able to integrate other, new species without a hitch.

DAPD/The Local/mry/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:08 January 14, 2013 by raandy
The pesky buggers are not going to be eradicated that easy. In my home State in the USA they had to put tin around the trees to keep the coons out of eagle nest and other birds that are endangered.

They are crafty and can forage on almost anything edible. If they get into your house or into your garden house they will trash it.

Instead of calling them Waschbärs one should call then Mullbärs
16:18 January 14, 2013 by pjnt
Good luck with the coons. I would be looking to co-exist with them. Getting rid of the pests will only lead to frustrations. They are the ultimate survivors.
19:19 January 14, 2013 by mafketis
Shouldn't native German animals be celebrating the diversity that the raccoons represent?
20:29 January 14, 2013 by McM
Not sure if the salute this raccoon is giving is celebrating diversity but there will be an enquiry into the politics these rascals represent in the wild if he keeps that up.
Today's headlines
Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin
Swan Lake. An abandoned ride in the Spreewald pleasure park. Photo: DPA

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin

The iconic ruined themepark in the centre of Berlin - a long-time favourite of hipster adventurers - needs a clean-up costing at least 14 million euros, the Berlin government has revealed. READ  

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer
File photo of Nuremberg main station: Shutterstock

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer

Officers in Nuremberg arrested a man on Thursday evening after he called in a false bomb threat against the main train station READ  

Opinion
Angela, David...and Nigel
So near...and yet so far Photo: DPA

Angela, David...and Nigel

The rise of UKIP broke up what had been a good 2014 for Cameron and Merkel. READ  

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead
Dr Gunther von Hagens. Photo: DPA

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead

A Berlin court has said that infamous human taxidermist Gunther von Hagens can open a museum in the capital - over objections from local officials. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech
Photo: Phorms Education

Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech

As parents fret over children’s internet habits, a network of bilingual schools in Germany shows that putting computers in the classroom from an early age yields positive results. READ  

Networks scramble to patch mobile security
Chancellor Angela Merkel has herself been the victim of phone hacking. Photo: DPA

Networks scramble to patch mobile security

IT experts led by Berlin-based Karsten Nohl said on Thursday they had discovered security flaws in the mobile phone networks that would allow attackers to read users' messages. READ  

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport
Photo: DPA

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport

Three men suspected of being Turkish agents have been arrested by police, federal prosecutors said on Thursday. READ  

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is having an excellent month. Photo: DPA

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November

Germany collected 7.3 percent more in tax in November 2014 than the same month last year thanks to the strengthening economy, the Finance Ministry said in its monthly report on Thursday, while pollsters found rising consumer confidence. READ  

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting
Bodo Ramelow looking low on energy at a sitting of the Thuringia state parliament. Photo: DPA

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting

Controversial new Thuringia minister-president Bodo Ramelow of the Left (Linke) party missed his first session of Germany's second house of parliament, the Bundesrat, to go on holiday with his family. READ  

'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP
Edathy preparing to face questions in Berlin Photo: DPA

'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP

A former rising star of German politics who resigned after pictures of naked children were allegedly found on his official laptop said Thursday what he did was "wrong, but legal." READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,197
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd