The raccoon (wasbeer), a north and South American species, was introduced in Germany at the Edersee in 1934.Helped by escapes from fur farms the species has colonized since then large parts of Europe.
By now they are also widespread in the Ardennes, and more record are reported from Flanders each year. But you do not see them; they are cute, smart and handy and very opportunistic, and only active at night.
The species is now regarded as a threat for the local fauna and also for our health and as a result the European community has decided that he can be killed at any time.
I could photograph this one from the hide of Jorn van den Bogaert in the Ardennes. The raccoon visited the place in search of food at 06,00h in the morning and stayed for half an hour. I was delighted to see him sneaking in. It was a pleasure to see him skillfully pick out food in deeper holes with his fingers, food that could not be reached by the plumpsy wild boar that frequent the area.
I did not care about his bad reputation; it was a joy photographing him; and he was indeed very cute. Thank you for the opportunity, raccoon, and also Jorn for the use of the hide.