Dozens of raccoons die from viral ‘zombie’ outbreak in New York’s Central Park


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Greater than two dozen Central Park raccoons have died in an ongoing viral outbreak that causes “zombie” conduct within the critters, authorities decided.

Of 26 raccoons discovered useless contained in the park since June 24, two examined optimistic for the canine distemper virus, which doesn’t have an effect on people however can unfold to unvaccinated canine, officers with town Well being and Parks departments revealed on Saturday. The opposite 24 are believed to be contaminated by distemper as a result of their deaths had been clustered in such a short while and space.

The most recent raccoon corpse was discovered at East 106th Road and East Drive on Saturday morning.

Parks employees even have witnessed distemper signs in residing raccoons. “They appeared like they had been circulating, wandering, having spasms,” stated Dr. Sally Slavinski, an assistant director on the Well being Division. “Among the raccoons had some kind of nasal discharge.”

Raccoons with distemper act unusual — showing tame or confused earlier than shedding their coordination, turning into unconscious and generally dying. They’ll additionally get aggressive.


Not one of the raccoons have examined optimistic for rabies thus far. As soon as authorities dominated out that lethal virus, they despatched samples from two useless raccoons to a state lab. Town discovered Friday that they had been coping with distemper.

Raccoons with distemper also can get aggressive, in line with well being officers.


Whereas officers burdened people can’t contract the illness, canine house owners in Central Park had been alarmed Saturday when advised of the outbreak.

“Now I’m freaked out. Holy moly!” stated Higher East Sider Bob Cucurullo, 40, along with his beagle terrier Charlie. “He sees a raccoon as soon as per week, and he goes nuts after it. Now I’ll need to watch out the place I let him go.”

Learn extra from The New York Submit.

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