'Zombie' Raccoons Make Headlines in Ohio Town

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The following video illustrates the symptoms of distemper exhibited by a raccoon, though as WKBN-TV points out, it was not recorded in Youngstown.

Describing his encounter with a zombie raccoon, photographer Robert Coggeshall said the animal had chased him and his dogs after appearing in his front yard.

Youngstown, Ohio is starting to look a lot more like Raccoon City!

Coggeshall's routine playtime with his dogs was cut short when a sickly raccoon made its way toward them. The resident put the dogs back in the house and the raccoon reportedly followed them to their door.

"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 nearly a comatose condition", Coggeshall told WKBN-TV. The raccoon would then repeat the process endlessly, despite the man's attempts to scare it away.

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Suddenly the raccoon collapsed into a coma-like state, from which it woke up soon, walked around in a lethargic manner for a bit, before finally getting up on its hind feet again.

In the past three weeks, authorities have had to respond to 14 calls depicting similar altercations. These raccoons are uncharacteristically out in broad daylight and roaming around, unafraid of loud noises or motions as they normally would be.

The Cook County Animal and Rabies Control told the station that the latest necropsy report for 2018 showed 43 percent of raccoons evaluated had distemper, said to be an unusual spike for the county.

It can cause brain damage along with respiratory disease, seizures, immobility and even death. Distemper is a severe viral disease that affects canines and other animals like foxes, coyotes, skunks and ferrets. They also tend to become infected by coming in contact with body fluids or droppings.

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