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Death of ‘zombie’ raccoons remain in Central Park

More than 100 raccoons have died due to a virus which makes them behave like zombies.

(iStock)

The plague of the living-dead raccoons.

At least 176 Central Park raccoons have now died in an outbreak of a virus that causes them to act as “zombies” – and three of Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx were recently infected.

The critters are believed to have had the canine distemper virus, a deadly disease that cannot affect humans but can spread to non-vaccinated dogs, the officials said. A sick raccoons were humanely killed.

Raccoons with distemper will act weird, which is tame or confused before losing their coordination, still unconscious, and often die. Some can even become aggressive.

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The Pelham Bay Park “zombie” raccoons were found between Aug. 18 and Sept. 13 in the dog run, a BBQ area and the Playground for All Children, according to the Parks Department.

A disoriented raccoon with a crust on her eyes was found in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on Thursday and sent for testing for the disease, which requires that the animals be euthanized. Two other sick raccoons of Riverside Park on the Upper West Side, tested negative for canine distemper virus earlier this month.

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Authorities do not believe that the Pelham Bay cases related to the outbreak in Central Park, where the first infected raccoon was found June 24. But pet owners are still advised to get their dogs to the line in both parks.

The last sickly Central Park raccoon was collected Sept. 7. The line warning is in place until a month has passed without new cases.

“While the collection of sick raccoons delayed in Central Park, the outbreak has not yet been deemed concluded,” parks spokeswoman Kelly Krause said.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post.

 

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