I recently saw a TV documentary about raccoons. It mentioned a big problem in Japan with the imported animals nesting in ancient wooden temples. The raccoons were sold as pets after a children's cartoon show about a baby raccoon became popular. The animals were turned loose as adults, and being as resourceful as they are, they multiplied and took up residence in the attics of the temples. Their scratches and urine are causing great damage to irreplaceable buildings.
(Now, here is a joke that was emailed to me recently about squirrels in churches.)
A small town had four churches--Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic and Baptist.
All four had a serious problem with squirrels in the church. Each church
in its own fashion had a meeting to deal with the problem.
The Presbyterians decided that it was predestined that squirrels be in
the church and that they would just have to live with them.
The Methodists decided they should deal with the squirrels lovingly in
the style of Charles Wesley. They humanely trapped them and released
them in a park at the edge of town. Within 3 days, they were all back in
The Catholics also humanely trapped them and attempted to teach them the "rhythm" method to prevent them from breeding which of course did not work.
The Baptists had the best solution. They voted the squirrels in as members. Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.