In June, Paris just announced that it would coexist with rats, and in September, the Belgian authorities also claimed that they would learn to live peacefully with raccoons.
According to news reports,Currently, there are at least 60,000 raccoons in the forests of southern Belgium. Faced with such a powerful alien species, the authorities have to admit: Our plan to control raccoons has failed! No matter how we hunt and kill them, we can’t stop them. We can only choose to coexist peacefully with them!
The only good thing is that the situation in Belgium is not too bad. Raccoons are only active in the suburbs and have not yet entered the city.
But the next development of the situation is completely predictable: before long, the number of raccoons will increase significantly and penetrate into the city, affecting people’s lives.
This has precedent in other European countries, such as Germany and France (scientists believe that the raccoons in Belgium come from these two countries). Not only are the raccoons in large numbers, but they have also spawned a new group of residents-urban raccoons, who have New title:Ecological killer, major carrier of rabies, thief, robber, trash panda.
Even in Japan, raccoons have become overrun. You must know that there were only 1,500 raccoons that first entered Japan.
Furs and pets are actively introduced by many countries
Raccoons are native to North America and are considered a species of “least concern” due to their large numbers and rapid development.
In its native range, with the exception of the Rocky Mountains and several southwestern states, raccoons can be found almost everywhere in the United States, as well as in Canada, Mexico, and the far north of South America.
According to statistics, the number of raccoons in North America is 5 million to 10 million, and some people even think that the number has exceeded 20 million.
Elsewhere, Germany is considered the country with the greatest impact by far. In Germany alone, there are believed to be 200,000-400,000 raccoons.
Germany was one of the first countries to introduce raccoons for their fur.
In the 19th century, raccoon skin was already one of the most important industries in the North American fur industry. It was made into hats or clothes and sold.
In the 20th century, rich people liked to drive convertible cars. In order to keep warm, these rich people would wear relatively cheap and large-looking raccoon fur coats.
So wearing a fur coat while driving became a popular sport and was considered a status symbol.
By the 1930s, the popularity began to spread to other countries, and raccoons were introduced for breeding.
Germany is one of them, not only breeding, but also releasing it to the outside world.
The first release of raccoons was in 1934, with permission from the hunting department for the purpose of “enriching the animal population.” The second release was accidental, and the fur farm was attacked, causing 25 raccoons to escape.
The raccoons in the wild quickly adapted to the local environment. From the original double digits, the number of raccoons in Germany exceeded 1 million by 2021. In order to control the population, Germany allows a large number of raccoons to be hunted. In the 2015-2016 hunting season, 128,100 raccoons were hunted. In 2022, the number of raccoons hunted has risen to 200,000.
Even so, Germany still failed to control it.
Raccoons also spread from Germany to many European countries. Today, the number of raccoons in Europe has far exceeded 500,000.
Among these countries, the Japanese raccoon is very special. It was originally introduced mainly because of its cuteness.
In the 1970s, the anime “Little Raccoon” released in Japan was very popular among children. Boys all wanted to have a raccoon friend, so every year Japan imported 1,500 raccoons from abroad to meet the public’s pet needs. The behavior lasted for several years.
However, the good times did not last long. The introduced raccoons had not been domesticated and had nothing to do at home. They began to cause trouble, became violent towards humans, destroyed houses, and harmed other pets…
They committed many behaviors that were intolerable to humans, so some people released raccoons into the wild.
When Japan discovered there was a problem and immediately banned the import of raccoons, it was already too late. They were found in 42 of Japan’s 47 prefectures. They eat various crops such as corn, rice, and fruits. Hokkaido alone causes 100,000 raccoons every year. caused agricultural losses worth approximately US$300,000.
The majestic territory of raccoons stems from their strong survival ability
Like the Japanese, most people are deceived by the cute appearance of raccoons.
It looks like a big cat, fluffy, with charming “eye patch” black spots on its face, and a ring of patterns on its tail. Combined with the funny videos that have gone viral on the Internet, such as washing marshmallows and stealing pets rations.
All its behaviors give people a “cheesy swish” feeling, which can’t help but make people laugh. People like this animal out of instinct.
But in fact, raccoons are not cute, and their existence has caused serious problems in many countries.
The raccoon is so named because of its hobby of “washing things.”
However,Studies have shown that raccoons put objects in water not really to clean them, but to moisten their palms with water, making them soft and increasing the touch. Another theory is that this is a fixed behavioral pattern derived from their habit of always looking for food in the water.
In the United States, raccoons are carriers of rabies, as well as a variety of parasites and infectious diseases. If humans come into contact with pets, they may become infected.
What’s even more exaggerated is that, just for a bite to eat, raccoons have turned into veritable thieves, robbers and violent people.
Raccoons are no longer satisfied with rummaging through trash cans. They will also try their best to sneak into human houses, rummage through boxes and cabinets to find food, and steal food from pets. Sometimes even if someone has a pet, they will still grab it, and their forelimbs are very flexible. , has a bad temper and is very aggressive.
As we all know,The most essential reason for the proliferation of every species is its own strong ability to survive.
The same is true for raccoons. In order to survive, they will change their living habits to adapt to the new environment.
Raccoons are extremely intelligent animals. Zoologist Clinton Hart Merriam defined a raccoon as:A clever beast more cunning than a fox.
Raccoons in real life have indeed withstood the test. Raccoons that have been in contact with humans for a long time have become proficient in opening doors and unscrewing bottle caps and various food lids.
It can be said that the intelligence of raccoons is the main reason why they can adapt to various environments.
Raccoons are also omnivores. They eat plants and animals in the wild. After contact with humans, they also begin to eat cat food, dog food, and human food.
Originally living in deciduous forests and temperate broad-leaved mixed forests, they have now adapted to mountainous areas, coastal wetlands, and even urban areas.
Once a solitary creature, now in order to survive in strange places, related female partners are allowed to share areas and jointly guard the area against foreign invaders.
All of the above are the raccoons’ efforts to survive. It is precisely because of its strong vitality that it has the “grand territory” that is now flooding the world.
Due to the dangers of raccoons, many countries do not allow keeping raccoons as pets, but there are a few places where it is legal.
The biggest problem with keeping a raccoon is that it is untamed and wild, so its behavior is unpredictable.
It may be as docile as a cat, or it may be like a husky, willing to tear down the house; it may eat dog food obediently, or it may eat the fish in your fish tank and flowers in the garden; it may even make out with you on its front feet Tie Tie and attack your child with its claws on its back feet.
Editor in charge: Shang Shangwen Q