‘Plague’ of binge-drinking raccoons cause havoc — trashing homes and eating pets

A troop of beer-guzzling raccoons have been causing a "catastrophe" as they have been trashing people's homes and eating their pets.

One of the pests was spotted in a viral social media clip, posted by the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, trying to escape a rescue net outside a high-rise office building used by MPs in central Berlin.

The animal, which had scaled several stories of the building, was seen scuttling across the window ledge to evade capture — but another net appears from the other side.

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The German Embassy in London tweeted: "A surprise guest was spotted at the German Bundestag today, but the little raccoon (or Waschbär, as we say in German) couldn't find its way out.

"With a little help from colleagues, the cute visitor was brought safely back to nature."

It comes as the rising population of raccoons has been wreaking havoc in people's homes as they have been drinking beer and munching on people's pets — including fish and rabbits, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Homeowners are now facing repair bills of up to €10,000 (£8,600) after returning from their travels to find their kitchens damaged by the creatures.

The National Hunting Association (DJV) in Germany claimed it killed a record 200,000 raccoons in 2022 in a bid to curb the population, which had risen from less than 10,000 back in 2002.

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However, scientists have warned that attempts to reduce the population could be increasing the birth rate, causing them to become like a "plague".

The Frankfurter Allgemeine said: "These animals, which are so cute at first sight, have become a plague in some parts of the country.

"But the problem can no longer be eradicated, so we have to learn to live with them. In less than a century this species has made Germany its home. That's a story of both success and suffering."

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