10 April 2018

Epidemic of "zombie-like" raccoons in Ohio attributed to distemper

Coggeshall thought something was wrong with the raccoon, since it was out in broad daylight. What came next confirmed that. As Coggeshall left his garage to try to shoo the animal away, the raccoon stood up on its hind feet and flashed its sharp, white teeth and pink gums. Saliva dripped from its mouth.

Suddenly, it collapsed into a comatose-like state, Coggeshall said. It soon awoke from its lethargy, walked around for a bit, then got back up on its hind feet again.

“It was kind of startling,” Coggeshall told The Washington Post. “And it kept coming back to the house. It was at my door about two or three times.”
Over a dozen cases reported in the past week.  Details and a video news report at The Washington Post.  Photo credit Robert Coggeshall.

10 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. topic drift - i saw my first butterfly yesterday. a mourning cloak. that was a total surprise, as, i would have expected a red admiral.

    p.s. feel free to delete after reading!

    I-)

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    Replies
    1. Mourning cloaks hibernate over the winter under the bark of trees and in other crevices, so they are typically among the first to emerge and be seen as the weather warms (depending on where you live). Red Admirals have to migrate back north from southern warmer climate areas.

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    2. thanks! i thought that red admirals also hibernated? some must, as i have seen them in mid/late march in northern vermont during very warm springs.

      I-)

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    3. Perhaps some do; it must be quite uncommon.

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    4. Hi,
      in the UK Red Admirals Vanessa atalanta, Small Tortoiseshells Aglais urticae, and Peacocks Aglais io, all regularly over-winter in garden sheds, etc, but our climate is mild (think Seattle coastal area. I've seen Red Admirals out in mid-winter in mild sunny spells.
      cheers another phil

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  3. That raccoon played in Guardians of the Galaxy.

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  4. Raccoons don't really hibernate the way bears do, They just chill out and nap a lot. Now is mating season actually (in western NY state at least). My first baby was a raccoon and I would always look forward to her visits this time of year after she moved out - a couple of visits and then it would be June when I saw her again with babies in tow!
    I have seen a raccoon with distemper and he was just hanging out under a tree and didn't care about any person or animal going by -this picture is disturbing !

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  5. I had a raccoon with distemper visit a party I was having with my family, lots of kids, in the middle of the day. It was nearly walking up to people and was acting strangely. Worried it was rabies I shot it and reported it to animal control. They said there hasn't been a case of rabies for something like 40 years in this area. That was interesting to me.

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