Chicago-area police warn of 'zombie raccoons' with distemper
RIVERSIDE, Ill. - The warning about "zombie raccoons" may sound like something out of a bad television show, but the police department in the Chicago suburb of Riverside says they're very real and very dangerous to the family dog.
The critters are called zombies because those carrying the distemper virus often stagger on their hind legs and bare their teeth. The police department says if they bite dogs they can transmit the serious disease that can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal problems and affect the nervous system.
The department issued its warning after fielding calls about raccoons acting oddly and says anyone who sees such an animal should call police. Chief Tom Weitzel tells the Chicago Tribune that officers will put the animals down and public works crews will dispose of their carcasses.
Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com