A central Hamburg real estate listing has been withdrawn after forest animals were discovered gnawing away at the newly built house. A black bear and two raccoons were found ploughing their snouts into the exterior trim as owners Wolfgang and Hildegudrun Schmeddlapp returned today from a woodcutting expedition.
The Smeddlapps, a Swabian back-to-the-land farming couple from Stuttgart, say they’d put their life savings into the house. “Work-work-build-a-house. That’s what they always told us to do in life. It’s all gone now,” moaned Frau Schmedlapp. “Just look at the place. We might as well have invested in Greek bonds for all it’s come to.”
“They usually store up a lot for the winter,” said Bea Lotto of the Hamburg Tierschutzvereinunddingsbums. “What we want to find out is why a house made with ginger and molasses, glued together with a mixture of egg white and icing sugar and decorated with Smarties, Gummy bears and those awful round things you get from Aldi around Christmas would attract bear and raccoon. It’s a mystery.”
A banding found on one of the raccoons may give a clue to its origins and behaviour.
“If you look closely at the leg of that fellow up there on the left, he’s wearing an ID bracelet,” said Lotto. “It’s highly unusual for a Waschbaer – err, sorry, raccoon – to be tagged. It might be a clue he’s from Munich. We’ll have to do a scat sample to check for Weisswurscht just to be sure, though.”