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WATCG: Tokyo struggling to deal with crop-destroying raccoon invasion

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Published in Weird News

(UPI) Authorities in Tokyo are struggling to deal with problems caused by an especially wily invasive species: North American raccoons.

The city reported the number of raccoons living in the wild in Tokyo and its surrounding areas has skyrocketed in recent years, with 1,282 trapped in fiscal 2022, a sharp increase from 259 caught in fiscal 2012.

The animals are believed to have established a breeding population in the wild after bring bought as pets and either escaping or being abandoned.

Raccoons became popular pets in Japan after animated TV series Rascal the Raccoon raised the species' profile in the 1970s.

 

The raccoons have been blamed for severe crop damage in recent years in the hills to the west of Tokyo. The local farm ministry estimated the animals caused a total $2.8 million in crop damage in fiscal 2022.

Local authorities said the highly-adaptive animals have proven difficult to deal with, and they have even started destroying traps set out by officials.


Copyright 2024 by United Press International

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