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Raccoon numbers surge in Tokyo, causing damage to crops

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First they came for the racoons

And I did nothing because I like racoons and I dont live in Tokyo

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I like racoons and I dont live in Tokyo

We, nowhere near Tokyo but also far from the countryside, have notices on our public announcement boards warning about racoons. They seem to be a countrywide problem.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

We call 'em "Trash Pandas".

And if they get to be a nuisance, we give 'em the 3 'Sh's reserved for any nuisance wild animal:

Shoot, shovel, and shut up.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It really was a mistake importing these highly adaptable critters. My fear is that they crowd out indigenous tanuki as the two species' eating habits are similar.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seen two of them cruising the neighborhood in Adachi-ku at around 10:30 at night. Had to do a double take to verify what I was seeing. This is a neighborhood with houses and apartments. No nature to be found, but Arakawa is about 800m away.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

By "raccoons" that are "imported", I take it this means escaped American raccoons and not the Japanese native animal tanuki, which are also usually referred to in English as "raccoons" or "raccoon dogs".

Just to add to the potential confusion, but tanuki themselves will eat anything and are known to damage crops. The "countrywide" problem another poster references is likely to be tanuki, not some imported animal. There is an increasingly widespread escaped animal problem, its now across several prefectures, but it is "kyon" mini deer that originally escaped from a zoo. Deer eat young trees and are especially destructive.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The omnivorous animals, which are subject to extermination measures, are native to North America and went wild after those kept as pets escaped or were abandoned, according to the Environment Ministry.

So, it is the fault of Japanese people! Florida is dealing with a similar anaconda problem.

There have also been reports of raccoons eating the endangered Tokyo salamander.

There are tons of other omnivorous animals in Japan that eat salamanders.

For example, crows are also omnivorous and eat anything including carrion (dead animals).

I literally saw a crow grab and fly off with a mid-size rat in front of Mark City in Shibuya last week.

The poor rodent was frozen from shock. It looked like it was hang gliding with its arms and legs spread out.

I had to chuckle then I thought that is nature

>

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

The "countrywide" problem another poster references is likely to be tanuki

Nope, sorry. The notice on our community noticeboard distinctly speaks of 洗熊 (araiguma, the actual raccoon procyon lotor), not of 狸 (tanuki).

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Our traps are sometimes broken as raccoons are also desperate to live. Only a fraction is actually caught, so we are unable to grasp their overall range," said an official from a municipality.

It seems like they are trying to blame the "foreign" raccoons for the crimes mostly committed by "Japanese" raccoons or other animals. There are other animals perfectly capable of doing similar damage to traps. (Dogs, cats, and civets) I have only seen civets in Eastern and central Tokyo.

I am more worried about all the civets (smelly) roaming Tokyo streets at night than raccoons. They are big as dogs and climb just as good as cats up trees, up utility poles and across electrical wires.

They also look like raccoons to the untrained eye!

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

The raccoons in Japan are mostly descendants of pets that were released rather than escaped. They were popularised by a TV series about Rascal, a raccoon. Rascal became too big and troublesome to live indoors. However, there was a happy ending when rascal was released to ravage the countryside.

I don't know if this has changed but while there used of restrictions on importing cats and dogs such as rabies shots and certificates, there were none for raccoons.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nope, sorry. The notice on our community noticeboard distinctly speaks of 洗熊 (araiguma, the actual raccoon procyon lotor), not of 狸 (tanuki).

Thanks, yes that's a raccoon.

The top Google hit for "raccoon Japan" is a tanuki, so let's just say the article could have been more helpful by referring to raccoon raccoons (araguma) and not the animals everyone mistakenly or approximately calls raccoons (tanuki). Since araiguma are everywhere and have a native-sounding Japanese name, I assumed that they must be native and were not brought in as pets. You learn something every day.

Given how widespread araiguma are, quite a few of them must have "got away" from being pets. Maybe its the ol' "lack of wolves" one that has let their numbers explode.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

When I lived in Nagano and went into the mountains I would always see raccoons and many other animals.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I believe Hamburglar was a racoon.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am not the only person seeing Hakubshin (civets) in Tokyo.

It seems like they are trying to blame the "foreign" raccoons for the crimes mostly committed by "Japanese" raccoons or other animals. There are other animals perfectly capable of doing similar damage to traps. (Dogs, cats, and civets) I have only seen civets in Eastern and central Tokyo.

I am more worried about all the civets (smelly) roaming Tokyo streets at night than raccoons. They are big as dogs and climb just as good as cats up trees, up utility poles and across electrical wires.

They also look like raccoons to the untrained eye!

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/tN7XeLnUf3c

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/NjQFNYBkgDo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8zocWZJuPU&pp=ygUPY2l2ZXQgYW5kIHRva3lv

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19XqeaJUKlw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fww_AAsf-8&pp=ygUPY2l2ZXQgYW5kIHRva3lv

How Civet make World Most Expensive Coffee - Civet Coffee Farming - Coffee Harvest and Processing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox7dQO-7Gss&pp=ygUPY2l2ZXQgYW5kIHRva3lv

By the way, civets produce the world's most expensive coffee!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They’ll be invading Gion next…

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Just need to box-up all these pesky raccoons and civets and ship them to China - they eat them apparently, with a side of bamboo-rat and rat-snakes.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It seems like they are trying to blame the "foreign" raccoons for the crimes mostly committed by "Japanese" raccoons or other animals. There are other animals perfectly capable of doing similar damage to traps. (Dogs, cats, and civets) I have only seen civets in Eastern and central Tokyo. 

Yeah I’ve seen a few hakubishin out in western Tokyo. Always been late at night, but the length of their tail is a big giveaway. Not so difficult to spot the difference between them and araiguma (I haven’t seen any but I’ve heard from friends who have seen them on occasion in the Yokohama area).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I know they are trouble and don't belong in Japan, but I have raised a few rescued raccoons and can't help but like them. Super smart, loyal to each other, and with a wicked sense of humor - and opposable thumbs that get them into a world of trouble. They should never have been brought in as pets - because they are not pets, they are wild. But they know who their friends are.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

On the opposite, infrastructure development and cementation do damage those animals environment. But it has been approved by dedicated decision makers and no property damage is claimed to humans by those animals.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, raccoons are very smart, and can adapt to any environment. I have cameras at my home with sensors and every night my sensors go off and there they are a family of 6 if you see a pair they are male and female. Once the babies are born the mother becomes very aggressive. My neighbor has a tangerine tree in his front yard and I would see the entire family every night invading the tree. One day my neighbor asked me if I was taking fruit from his trees I laughed and said you have nightly visitors and he said you mean people are sneaking here at night I said NO and showed him a picture of the clever raccoons in his tree taking his fruit. I said to him if you feed them they will come and they cleaned the tree bare!!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan is pretty much the perfect place for raccoons. People regularly dump their trash in the side of the road instead of setting up proper bins, so garbage day is pretty much a raccoon smorgasbord.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan's raccoons are the offspring of some 1,500 that were imported to Japan from the US as pets due to the popularity of a raccoon based anime character. They don't make good pets as they are highly destructive and many ended up being turned loose in the Japanese countryside, which they apparently found much to their liking.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan is pretty much the perfect place for raccoons. People regularly dump their trash in the side of the road instead of setting up proper bins, so garbage day is pretty much a raccoon smorgasbord.

In the wild raccoons like wooded places near water. Much of their preferred diet are bugs, crayfish, eggs and plants that grow in or near water. A lot of Japan fits that description nicely.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Send them to Raccoon city..

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

causing damage to crops

Crops in Tokyo? I never thought of Tokyo as a agricultural area.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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