'Zombie' raccoons terrorize Ohio neighbourhood
Thursday, April 5, 2018, 5:47 PM - Ohio police are investigating after receiving reports of "zombie-like" raccoons in a northeast Ohio neighbourhood.
According to WKBN-TV, more than a dozen calls have been placed to Youngstown police over the past three weeks about raccoons acting strangely during the day.
They are typically nocturnal creatures.
Photographer Robert Coggeshall told the Associated Press he was approached by one of the raccoons last week. He says the animal stood on its hind legs, showed its teeth and fell backwards.
That raccoon, along with 14 others exhibiting strange behaviour, were euthanized.
Authorities say the animals are likely suffering from distemper, and not rabies.
According to VCA Hospitals, the canine distemper (CDV) isn't transferable to humans but is a “highly contagious viral disease of domestic dogs and other animals such as ferrets, skunks and raccoons. It is an incurable, often fatal, multisystemic disease that affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous systems.”
In February, a Toronto man was chased and bitten by a raccoon suffering from a CDV infection. Over the past few years, there have been hundreds of cases of raccoons contracting CDV in the Toronto area.
Pet owners can protect their dogs against CDV with vaccinations.