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“Drunk” West Virginia Raccoons Probably ill with Distemper: Police

MILTON, W.V. – Washing bears found in a western Virginia city that the police suspected of being full on crabapples…

MILTON, W.V. – Washing bears found in a western Virginia city that the police suspected of being full on crabapples is actually likely to be sick with distemper.

Milton, West Virginia police department had said in a Facebook mail on Monday that they had two calls on suspicious straight raccoons but they thought the animals were only inebriated.

Police said one of the raccoons was arrested Friday and another was captured on Saturday.

Both of them were released unscathed near the forest, according to the police. The picturesque story of raccoons that found some cheesed crabapples created national headlines but the story became tragic when the police showed that one of the detained raccoons would be euthanized.

On Thursday, the police revealed that they thought the original raccoon caught was really full on fermented crabapples. After checking the animal, the police said that it was and had left the area where it fell close to the forest.

Police said they were advised by Point of View Farms, an ideal group, believing that the raccoons suffer from disturbances following a report by a third raccoon who climbed a tree and fell out. The farm advised the police to catch this raccoon and find the other released animals.

The second raccoon caught was detected as suffering from seizures about 1

0 meters from where it had been released. The animals must be euthanized because of their condition, police said.

The rabbit who fell out of the tree must also be euthanized, according to the police.

While health officials agreed with the deeper diagnosis, the animals for rabies are being tested with great care.

“Sorry for such a long and depressing post, but since this event received so much unexpected national attention, we wanted to be as transparent as possible,” wrote the police on Facebook. “Please do not approach any wildlife that seems abnormal and remember that their natural instinct should be to avoid people or to run.”

The police also said they hoped that the original raccoon was actually full on crabapples and is flourishing in nature.

During the summer, a number of raccoons died in New York City’s Central Park after an outbreak of distemper. The outbreak urged city officials to warn residents to keep their dogs all the time because of the outbreak. People are not affected by distemper but they warned not to interact with wildlife in the park. Dogs and other wildlife are vulnerable to the virus.

Disease spreads through contact with infected saliva, urine and faeces. Canine Distemper Virus is compared to a “zombie virus” because it may cause animals to show strange behavior.

Photo via Shutterstock

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