‘Zombie’ raccoons are terrifying Ohio residents
Raccoons are approaching the man, with their teeth and passing in Youngstown, Ohio. She’s strange behavior has led to the euthanizing of more than a dozen raccoons that seem to be suffering from a virus.
More than two dozen Central Park raccoons have died in a sustained viral outbreak that causes “zombie” behavior of the animals, authorities determined.
Of 26 raccoons found dead in the park since June 24, two tested positive for the canine distemper virus, which does not affect humans, but can spread to non-vaccinated dogs, officials with the city, the Health and Parks departments will be unveiled on Saturday. The other 24 are believed to be infected by distemper, because their deaths were clustered in such a short period of time and area.
The last raccoon corpse was found in East 106th Street and East Drive, on Saturday morning.
Parks staff also have witnessed distemper symptoms in the life raccoons. “They looked like they were driving, wandering, having spasms,” said Dr. Sally Slavinski, assistant director at the Ministry of Health. “Some of the raccoons had a kind of nasal discharge.”
Raccoons with distemper act strange — looking tame or confused before losing their coordination, still unconscious and sometimes die. They can also be aggressive.
‘ZOMBIE’ RACCOONS ARE TERRIFYING OHIO RESIDENTS IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, WITH STRANGE BEHAVIOUR
None of the raccoons have tested positive for rabies so far. As soon as the authorities ruled out the deadly virus, they sent samples of two dead raccoons in a state lab. The city revealed on Friday that they were dealing with distemper.
Raccoons with distemper may also become aggressive, according to health officials.
While the officials stressed that a man can not disease, dog-owners in the Centre of the Park were alerted Saturday at the hear of the outbreak.
“Now I’m freaked out. Holy moly!” said the Upper East Sider Bob Cucurullo, 40, with his beagle terrier Charlie. “He sees a raccoon once a week, and he is going nuts after. Now I will have to be careful where I let him go.”
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