March 3, 2024


General Evolution

Zombie-like raccoons in New Orleans pose deadly risk to canine

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries verified the animals are infected with canine distemper, a virus that can make raccoons act like zombies and can be deadly to pets.

There are signals in New Orleans City Park, notifying visitors about sick raccoons. 

“Over the final quite a few months, we begun receiving reports of persons bodily viewing raccoons acting erratic,” Metropolis Park COO Robert DeVeney mentioned. “We started out witnessing it. We brought in Wildlife and Fisheries to help us comprehend what was going on.”  

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries confirmed the animals are contaminated with canine distemper. It’s a virus that can make raccoons act like zombies and can be fatal to canines. 

Town Park canine walkers and visitors convey to us the warning signs caught their interest. 

“I’m heading to be a small a lot more alert,” “Carmen Morari explained. “I assume I will do the relaxation the very same, just stroll my canine on a leash and take pleasure in the trails, I’ll just be additional inform.” 

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“I’m concerned about these raccoons,” Benjamin Dominach reported. “I have not viewed any, but I am form of on my guard in situation there are some insane raccoons that are heading to nibble at my toes.” 

 Infected raccoons are not hazardous to humans but pose a danger to cats and puppies. 

 “If you are letting your doggy unfastened off of the leash and the dog has not been vaccinated against canine distemper, you run the possibility of them interacting with a single of these ill raccoons and you know it’s transmitted by inhalation,” DeVeney explained. 

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 Raccoons with distemper might approach individuals or curl up to snooze in open up regions. They usually act disoriented but can develop into aggressive if cornered. Distemper can be transmitted by immediate make contact with with an infected raccoon or its droppings. 

“I’m going to be hunting out for raccoons in trees, it’s possible under modest rocks, substantial rocks,” Dominach reported. “When I’m kicking the soccer ball, I’m likely to be seeking for all those raccoons.” 


City Park officers are reminding visitors that it is a park regulation and a city ordinance that canines be often on a leash, except they’re at the pet park.  

They are asking guests to notify the park if they see a ill raccoon and to hold their distance from the animal. 

Symptoms of distemper might involve discharge from the nose and eyes, a tough coat of hair, emaciated visual appeal, and abnormal actions these types of as disorientation or wandering aimlessly.