The fluffy menace: Swiss canton to hunt troublesome raccoons
Throughout Canton Basel-Land in Switzerland, 30 to 40 raccoons are reportedly causing chaos by damaging cars, gardens and houses in the hunt for food. The canton believes the actual number of raccoons in the area to be much higher and is therefore looking to catch them to prevent any more damage.
Canton setting traps for raccoons
The canton is hoping to tackle the raccoons by setting more traps. Since 2016, hunters have also been allowed to shoot the animals in order to stop the spread of the raccoons to more areas of Switzerland.
The game warden for Basel, Rolf Wirz, told SRF: "I don't catch them in order to release them afterwards", clarifying that any captured animals will be killed after they are caught. The national broadcaster noted that while the animals can be quite cute, they are known to be destructive and often get stuck in places on their quest for something to eat.
Raccoons are an invasive species in Switzerland
Raccoons, which are not native to Europe, are considered an invasive species in Switzerland. They are present in almost all Swiss cantons, with the exception of Ticino. Basel-Land, Basel-Stadt, Aargau, Solothurn, Schaffhausen and Zurich are hot spots for the creatures.
While the animals are thought to have migrated to Switzerland temporarily, young raccoons have been sighted across the country, stoking fears that the pesky critters may be here to stay.