Drunk West Virginia raccoons: Animals that ate fermented crab-apples spark rabies scare

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Rabid animals are, after all, no laughing matter. The rabies virus can infect the central nervous system, leading to illness and dying, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But that occurs after a number of more and more scary signs: partial paralysis, agitation, hallucinations, hydrophobia. A British man and two youngsters died in Morocco after they were bitten by a rabid cat.

So it was not stunning that when folks within the metropolis of Milton, W.Va., noticed raccoons behaving weirdly, they concerned the native police.

Officers staked out the world the place the suspect animals have been hanging out, in search of any indicators of the masked perpetrators.

But after they caught two of them, they realized they have been coping with a distinct form of situation.

The raccoons weren’t rabid. They have been drunk.

The raccoons, apparently, had been feasting on crab apples that had fermented on the tree, inflicting the small animals to stroll round “staggering and disoriented,” police stated.

“Turns out they appear to be drunk on crab apples,” police stated of their official assertion to the group.

The apprehended animals have been held in custody and allowed to sober up in what can solely be deemed a raccoon drunk tank.

Then they have been launched into the wild, however not earlier than some enterprising officer took an image of the animal, displaying it to be dazed, woozy, greater than just a little out of it. They named one drunk raccoon Dallas and launched each close to the woods.

And with that, Dallas joined a protracted line of animals that have made headlines for public intoxication.

Officers in Gilbert, Minn., for instance, obtained experiences of under-the-influence birds “flying into windows, cars and acting confused,” Police Chief Ty Techar wrote. An early frost meant that berries had fermented earlier than the birds flew south for the winter, according to The Washington Post’s Antonia Noori Farzan, and birds have been eating them and getting drunk.

But all birds weren’t equally affected, the chief wrote: “It appears that some birds are getting a little more ‘tipsy’ than normal,” he wrote. “Generally, younger birds’ livers cannot handle the toxins as efficiently as more mature birds.”

Residents who thought that maybe they have been in a 21st-century remake of an Alfred Hitchcock film have been amused but additionally relieved:

“This explains why I have hit 7 birds with my car this week,” one person commented on the chief’s publish.

And in Wayne Township, Ind., within the spring, a frantic girl walked into a hearth station and informed firefighters that her pet raccoon was “lethargic” and presumably severely stoned after moving into another person’s pot, according to The Washington Post’s Karin Brulliard.

High animals are extra widespread as extra jurisdictions legalize marijuana and folks plop the drug into tasty edibles that additionally attraction to their pets, who can’t learn warning labels and don’t usually have the impulse management to cease at one, Brulliard reported.

Although a lot of the calls contain canine chomping on marijuana edibles, Brulliard wrote, “veterinarians additionally cited examples of chihuahuas lapping up bong water, cats being uncovered to vaping, and even rabbits, ferrets and birds getting unintentionally stoned.”

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