Raccoons are approaching humans, baring their teeth and passing out in Youngstown, Ohio. Their strange behavior has led to the euthanizing of over a dozen raccoons who seem to be suffering from a virus.
“Zombie-like” raccoons have made for a spooky sight in one Ohio city.
Authorities in Youngstown “have responded to over a dozen” calls in recent weeks about the mammals behaving oddly in the daytime, WKBN-TV reported Tuesday.
Robert Coggeshall was with his dogs outside his home last week when, he told the station, a raccoon headed toward them. He immediately rushed the dogs indoors and snapped photos of the furry creature.
“He would stand up on his hind legs, which I’ve never seen a raccoon do before, and he would show his teeth and then he would fall over backward and go into almost a comatose condition,” Coggeshall recalled.
Lookout for raccoons acting strangely, as this time of year raccoons may have contracted distemper that poses no health risk to humans but can pose a threat to your dogs and cats.
Distemper is a viral disease that affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of animals. Raccoons are pre-disposed to this disease as are dogs. The disease is most often fatal and those that recover may display permanent neurological damage.