Some residents of Pepinster have been receiving curious visits lately… On images shared on social networks, we can see raccoons very close to homes, or even directly inside, looking for food. If this is not the first time that these omnivorous mammals point the tip of their nose along the Vesdre and the Hoëgne, their presence would have increased since the floods of last July. “The waterways have been modified, and since then there has been a lot of movement inside: raccoons, but also beavers and rats come to settle… This causes damage in the gardens or nuisances with other domestic animals” , reports Doris Quadflieg, Alderman for the Environment, who is preparing to raise the problem to the Vesdre River Contract. The latter indicates that he has already been contacted by the Municipality of Trooz on this subject. According to Vinciane Schockert, zoologist at Demna (Department for the study of the natural and agricultural environment of the SPW), it is the spring period that explains why we see them a lot. “Mothers are currently moving with their young. Females of the same family can group together with all their young, which sometimes gives twenty individuals at once. » It also reminds us that we are going to be forced to live with this species, which has been present in anecdotal fashion in Wallonia for more than 30 years but whose demographer has been increasing sharply over the past fifteen years. Today, in Wallonia, the number of individuals is estimated at between 50,000 and 75,000, mainly located in Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse. “Even if there are fewer observations on the Liège side, there is indeed a Walloon population, which is more frequented by individuals from Germany” . To avoid certain inconveniences related to this new mammal, some instructions must be respected (read below). There is also talk of limiting the impact of raccoons on biodiversity. “Overall the diet studies are not very alarming as it only includes one percent mammalian and bird. It eats more invertebrates, snails, slugs, crayfish, quite numerous in the environment. » Anti-pest devices (“Stop kitty”, etc.) are therefore installed and captures organized to preserve certain Walloon areas rich in biodiversity. This is the case of the Plateau des Hautes Fagnes with black grouse.