Two furry animals conquer Europe

Originally from North America and Asia respectively, raccoons and raccoon dogs have already colonized large parts of Europe. Their advance is likely to be far from over.

They did not come voluntarily. The first raccoons were shipped to Germany as fur suppliers. They were bred commercially. A few, however, were deliberately released to supposedly enrich the native fauna, as in 1934 at Lake Edersee in northern Hesse. There the living conditions were apparently good. The animals reproduced and began to spread slowly. In the turmoil of the end of the war, more raccoons were released east of Berlin in 1945. These also became resident.

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