Raccoons - The New Europeans
Length: 1 x 43 min
Heiko de Groot
Michael Riegler, Alexander Sommer
LIGHT & SHADOW
WDR, NDR Naturfilm
In Germany, the local population has been struggling with American immigrants – immigrant raccoons, that is. U.S. households have long tried to keep these keen, striped-tailed animals at bay, seeing them as more of a pest than wildlife. But Germans actually imported raccoons on purpose for hunting; they introduced small numbers into German forests during World War II, and the raccoons have thrived there ever since, now numbering over half a million.
This film celebrates the raccoon as a truly unstoppable species that has not only flourished in its native United States, but has also successfully overtaken new lands in Europe – both wild and civilized. Equipped with thumbs, raccoons wash their food before eating, open containers, and survive, often against the odds.
In the magical forests, fields, meadows and moors of Müritz National Park, raccoons have found an ideal existence. In the “wild” portions of the film, we follow a raccoon family during the course of one year in this spectacular landscape – foraging, mating, and raising young in social family groups. Here, raccoons live alongside numerous other wild animals including cranes, ospreys, Eurasian otters, and common European vipers. The stories of these animals, each with their own unique behavior and interactions with raccoons, are interspersed throughout this colorful film.