Back in 1934, when Hermann Goering was head of the Reich Forestry Office, he gave a breeder permission to release a pair of American raccoons into the woods near Kassel, a small city near Frankfurt. The pelts were popular with German hunters and the raccoon was only found in North America.
Or at least that was the case in 1934.
Raccoons are really good at two things; finding food and making more raccoons. A mated pair produces a typical litter of six each year. They now range from Spain to Denmark. There are estimated to be somewhere between 100,000 and a million of them in Germany.
Tempting as it is, we cannot blame all of this invasion on Herr Goering. Late in the war bombs from an Allied raid struck a breeding farm in Berlin and presumably many escaped into the wild there.
This year at least one raccoon has managed to cross the channel. One was found in England.
Be seeing you.
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