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Dozens Of "Zombie Raccoons" Have Been Found In New York

Reuters

New York City is one of those places that has two very different versions. There's the glamorous version we all see in movies and TV, where high-powered business folk run around the city in fancy suits, but there's another that is a lot more realistic.

For the people who actually live there, New York isn't all power walking to happy hour, sometimes it means dealing with the wildlife that lives there. While you may not think New York has a lot of it, there are a lot of animals who have managed to make themselves at home.

Obviously rats are a big problem, but in Central Park there are also a lot of raccoons.  Usually they cause issues, but now people are starting to get worried about them.

Zombie Raccoons
Robert Coggeshall

Dozens of raccoons have been dying from what they are calling a "Zombie Virus," and it's freaking out all the people in the park.

So far, 26 raccoons have been found dead in the park, and there are another two dozen still believed to be infected.

Two of the dead raccoons tested positive for distemper virus, which while it can't pass to humans, it can pass to vaccinated dogs.

Department of Health assistant director Dr. Sally Slavinski explained what people have noticed from the raccoons lately: “They looked like they were circulating, wandering, having spasms. Some of the raccoons had some sort of nasal discharge.”

The spasms are what give them that zombie look, making them walk in such a strange way. But when it comes to your dog, this is what to look for. PetMD says “major symptoms include high fever, reddened eyes, and a watery discharge from the nose and eyes.”

If untreated, it will cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, paralysis, and death, so please make sure that all your canine companions are up to date on their immunizations.

Zombie Raccoons
Brigitte Stelzer

This isn't the first state to encounter a "Zombie Raccoon" outbreak either. Residents in Ohio's Youngstown reported seeing raccoons behaving strangely just over four months ago.

The animals were seen out in the daytime baring their teeth, standing up on their hind legs, and often collapsing. There were at least 14 raccoons in Ohio, but because there's no cure they had to be euthanized.

It's sad to know that these poor animals are getting so sick, but it's also scary to think that they could infect your dog. This is why it's always important to keep an eye on your pets, and make sure they stay away from wild animals.

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Source - New York Post / Fox News / Newsweek / ABC

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at tanya@shared.com