The blight of the living-dead raccoons isn’t over.
A minimum of 176 Central Park raccoons have now perished in an outbreak of a virus that causes them to behave like “zombies” – and three extra from Pelham Bay Park within the Bronx had been just lately contaminated.
The critters are believed to have had the canine distemper virus, a deadly sickness that may’t have an effect on people however might unfold to unvaccinated canines, officers stated. Any sick raccoons discovered had been humanely euthanized.
Raccoons with distemper will act bizarre, showing tame or confused earlier than shedding their coordination, changing into unconscious and infrequently dying. Some might even get aggressive.
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The Pelham Bay Park “zombie” raccoons had been discovered between Aug. 18 and Sept. 13 within the canine run, a BBQ space and the Playground for All Youngsters, in accordance with the Parks Division.
A disoriented raccoon with crust on its eyes was present in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on Thursday and despatched for testing for the illness, which requires animals be euthanized. Two different sick raccoons from Riverside Park on the Higher West Aspect examined adverse for canine distemper virus earlier this month.
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Authorities don’t imagine the Pelham Bay instances are associated to the outbreak in Central Park, the place the primary contaminated raccoon was discovered June 24. However pet house owners are nonetheless suggested to maintain their canines on a leash at each parks.
The final sickly Central Park raccoon was collected Sept. 7. The leash warning can be in place till a month passes with out new instances.
“Whereas the gathering of sick raccoons has slowed in Central Park, the outbreak has not but been deemed ended,” parks spokeswoman Kelly Krause stated.
This text initially appeared within the New York Submit.