‘Zombie Raccoons’ Spotted Roaming Ohio Neighborhoods
When we think of a potential doomsday scenario, we don’t often think of the animals turning on us as a realistic narrative. However, after learning of a new “zombie raccoon” issue in Ohio, maybe it is high time we start thinking in such ways.
Youngstown, Ohio police are responding to a wave of complaints about odd, and frankly, terrifying, raccoon behavior. The raccoons are being described by residents who have witnessed their scary activities as “zombie-like.”
Back in March, police received 14 different calls involving raccoons that were standing upright and showing off their long fangs.
“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,” Robert Coggeshall, a local wildlife reporter, told WKBN.
Not to fear (that is to say, there is an explanation that doesn’t involve the world turning on itself), the Ohio Department of Natural Resources claims the issue is a result of distemper. The highly contagious illness, while remarkably scary to encounter in an animal, isn’t transferable to humans. However, dogs can get distemper, so residents in the area need to take precautions.
“It’s mostly spread through inhalation, but any contact with a raccoon can be dangerous,” Dr. Margee O’Donnell-Foust of Bark Mobile Pet Vet said to WKBN. “Dogs in the backyard or in the park could certainly contract the illness.”
The illness isn’t rare, particularly in this part of the country. Typically the raccoons will walk with a slow, staggered gait and appear to not be aware of what surrounds them. They often act appear “evil” by showing off their fangs and teeth. It is certainly not a sight for the easily frightened among us. People are being advised to contact police whenever they see zombie raccoons on the prowl and to remove their pets from any environments which may expose them to the raccoons.
While this is a bit unsettling to come across, the good news is, this isn’t the start of the next deadly pandemic. At least, we hope not.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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