Police investigate reports of 'zombie' raccoons

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Police are investigating reports of “zombie-like” raccoons in northeast Ohio.

WKBN-TV reported Youngstown police have received more than a dozen calls in the past three weeks about raccoons acting strangely in the daytime.

Photographer Robert Coggeshall said he was playing with his dogs outside his home recently when one such raccoon approached them. Coggeshall said the animal would stand on its hind legs, show its teeth and fall over backward.

The raccoon Coggeshall saw and 14 others police responded to were euthanized.

The state Department of Natural Resources said the animals likely were suffering from distemper, not rabies. The viral disease causes coughing, tremors and seizures and leads raccoons to lose their fear of humans.

Authorities are asking residents to report raccoons behaving unusually to their local police station.

Pertinent address:

Youngstown, Ohio

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