'Nazi' raccoons take over Germany
Raccoons introduced by the Nazis have officially occupied Germany after experts admitted they are there to stay.
The German Hunting Federation say the animals, introduced by Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering, will never be ousted.
It follows a spate of complaints by householders of racoons breaking into houses in search of food and shelter in the cold weather.
Federation spokesman Danaiel Hoffman said: "The raccoon is firmly established in Germany, this has to be accepted."
And Magnus Wessel, head of conservation at Friends of the Earth Germany, agreed: "Limiting their numbers is pretty much all that can be done."
Raccoons, which German pest controllers say now number in the millions, often choose to live under houses as they feel safe from predators and can steal food from bins.
As the cold conditions hit, a couple arrived back from holiday to find one of the animals had climbed down the chimney and eaten all the food in their cupboards in Spessart, Hesse.
A raccoon chased off a cat after breaking in through its flap, eating a packet of biscuits and ripping up a cushion for a nest at a home in Kaiserslautern.
Goering ordered the release of a breeding pair of raccoons when he was the Third Reich's chief forester in 1934, to give hunters something to shoot.
More got out in 1945 when an Allied bomb hit a farm where they were being reared for their pelts.
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