Raccoon alarm in Japan: The population of the animals had literally exploded, reported the Japanese daily newspaper “Asahi Shimbun”.
In just ten years, the raccoons that had originally arrived as pets from North America would have increased their living space three-fold and now have occurred in 44 of the 47 provinces of the island kingdom, nine more than a decade ago. For years, Japan’s farmers have been complaining of increasing damage. In addition, the animals in Japan’s traditional wooden houses and the temples and shrines of the country set up their own home and cause damage there.
At first, raccoons were welcome in Japan. Back in the 1970s, the popular animated series “Araiguma Rasukaru” (Rascal, the Raccoon) contributed to a veritable raccoon boom. Many Japanese brought the cute animals as pets in the country. But the now overgrown predators have increased over the years so that they become the real plague. The government in Tokyo declared them to be “invasive species” and thus an enemy of the state.