Norwegians on raccoon alert after Sweden find

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Raccoon photo: Shutterstock
22:06 CET+01:00
A recent raccoon sighting in Sweden has given Scandinavian conservationists the jitters, with Friends of the Earth Norway now fearful of the consequences for the ecosystem should the adaptable animal gain a foothold.

”It’s a predator. It takes young birds, eggs, fish, and is almost omnivorous,” Friends of the Earth spokesman Børs Lind told public broadcaster NRK.

“It can brutally upset the balance of nature. This is clearly a species that is highly undesirable in the Norwegian countryside.”

Though native to North America, raccoons have had no problem adjusting to life in Germany, where there is already a population of some half a million.

A frequent carrier of rabies, the raccoon is also known for unleashing its furry fury on rubbish bins and is considered a pest for its tendency to hunt a wide variety of native animals, including birds, bats and anything else it can get its claws on.

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“Since it manages to get by in North America, I think it would cope with our climate tremendously well,” said Lind.

See also: 'Hitch-hiking' raccoon sparks invasion fears

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