The "Zombie" raccoon problem is getting worse

     A "Zombie" raccoon is a raccoon that has Distemper.  A viral disease that effects the nervous system of the animals that get it.  Dogs and cats can get Distemper if they have a run in with an infected wild animal. Raccoons infected with Distemper act confused and can be aggressive before they die from the illness. 

     Distemper infected raccoons have been on the rise across the country.  Since June 176 raccoons in Central Park have died from Distemper.  This week two Distemper infected raccoons were captured in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. 

     I know these two parks are pretty far away from Sussex County but it's scary some raccoons around here might also be infected.  Distemper can also infect other wildlife in our area including coyotes, foxes, mink and skunks. 

     There's a very brazen raccoon in my neighborhood who is smart and strong enough to knock over my garbage cans and get inside them. even when the lids are bungee corded on. Several times I've gone out to chase it away be it stares me down and won't leave the garbage can. I've been told raccoons are smart and not afraid of people. The guy in my neighborhood sure isn't.  Raccoons scare me as much as bears scare our afternoon guy Steve Allan. 

     Animal Control officials are warning dog owners to keep their pooches on a leash.  My dog Maddie goes out in the yard.  But now I keep a close eye on her.  I'm thinking about taking her to the vet for a Distemper shot too. 

Source: Gothamist



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Steve Andrews

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