‘Zombie-like’ raccoons terrorise US town

Washington, April 6 (IANS) Residents of a town in the US state of Ohio have reported “zombie-like” raccoons which have left police puzzled, media reports said.

In the past couple of weeks, Youngstown police have responded to over a dozen of these raccoon calls, all of them with reports of the same strange, zombie-like behaviour, Ohio-based NBC4i news reported on Thursday.
The majority of the calls happened in the daytime, too, even though raccoons are nocturnal.
“I looked over there and got distracted because I saw a raccoon coming our way,” a resident said, whose playtime with his dogs was interrupted by a fiesty and sick raccoon last week.
He put the dogs back in the house, but said the raccoon followed them to the door.
Once inside, the wildlife photographer grabbed his camera to document what he called “extremely strange behaviour”.
“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,” he added.
The police were called to 14 similar situations in the past three weeks.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said it does not sound like rabies, but rather a disease called distemper.
He said diseases like this stay local and eventually die off.

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