A racoon eating a banana in a urban area. Reuters

About one million Nazi-bred racoons are over-running Germany, while their numbers are also set to grow in the UK.

The furry animals are killing partridges and pheasants in the countryside and invading gardens, overturning trash bins and stealing pet food in the urban areas.

Native of North America, a pair of racoons were introduced in Germany's forests in 1934 by Hitler's Third Reich boss and keen hunter, Hermann Goering, to enrich the local fauna.

But owing to the racoons' fast breeding, Germany's woodlands were soon overrun with the little black masked creatures.

"They have proved themselves experts at surviving in a foreign environment and have gradually conquered new territory," biologist Ulf Hohmann told Der Spiegel.

As habitat space was becoming short, racoons flooded out of the forests into German towns, looking for food, water and shelter. One male racoon radio-tagged by biologists covered over 200km in search of a new home. A racoon was found in a police station in Dresden, while others colonised an Administrative Court building in Leipzig. The German population is now believed to be over one million.

Hunters are trying to stem the striped-tide, but despite a record of 67,700 killings just in 2011, the army of racoons are still on the march, due to their reproducing speed and the absence of natural predators.

However, they do have their allies. "People in Germany are split into two parties: those who find racoons cute and feed them, and those who resort to killing them to get rid of what they consider a real plague," said Hohmann.

From Germany racoons have spread to France, Eastern Europe and Russia. In the UK raccoons have been spotted in Surrey, west Berkshire and Portsmouthy.

Following a 2007 change to the law in 2007 in Britain they can now be kept as pets without a licence.

In 2009 their population was esteemed being of about 1,000 specimen.

"From an ecological point of view, I don't think a breeding population of raccoons would have any trouble surviving in the wild in Britain," wildlife management specialist for Natural England, Charlie Wilson, told the Telegraph.

"They certainly have the potential to be damaging to our environment and wildlife by taking birds' eggs and predating on native species. The few sightings we've had so far suggest that the few raccoons being found are escaped pets, however, and the fact that they tend to be kept as individuals has certainly helped. The danger would be if several escaped at one time," he said.