The Top 3 Raccoon Stories That Made Headlines

Raccoons are unique creatures. They are so well adapted to our living spaces that they often remind us of ourselves. 

Whether they are grasping for objects with their human-like hands, or washing their food before they eat, we sometimes forget how much of a nuisance they can be! 

So when raccoons start behaving out of the ordinary, we all notice. 

In today’s post, we will discuss 3 recent raccoon stories weird enough to make news headlines! 

Watch the fascinating video version of this post by clicking HERE! 

You can also download the audio-only podcast by clicking the download button above. 

The “Tiger” Spotted Roaming Around New York: 

In April 2018, the New York Police Department began receiving several reports of what looked like a tiger roaming the streets of Harlem! 

These reports garnered a lot of social media attention, from concerned citizens and curious onlookers alike. 

Some local residents even reported having been awoken in the middle of the night by a safety notification from the city, warning of unconfirmed tiger sightings nearby! 

Imagine if that was the first thing you heard after waking up in the middle of the night! 

Fortunately, as the news crew soon learned, there was no escaped tiger in Harlem. Instead, bafflingly, it was merely a large raccoon. 

How anyone could mistake a raccoon for a tiger is anyone’s guess. Was this mass hysteria caused by an actual misguided report? Or did this begin as a prank that went horribly wrong? 

We may never know. 

The Gang of Raccoons that Held a Neighborhood Hostage: 

In New Orleans, following Hurricane Katrina, several damaged homes were abandoned, and some of these areas became unofficial dumping grounds for old furniture and garbage. 

Eventually, abandoned sites became popular shelters for raccoons. 

Normally raccoons are not particularly aggressive, but in 2016 on Gravier Street in New Orleans, that all began to change. 

Dozens of residents reported being chased down by hordes of hostile raccoons, charging at them onto their own property! 

Some people even had to avoid their backyards completely, for their own safety. 

Some residents blamed a botched extermination job, where several raccoons were killed but the survivors got defensive. 

Whatever the cause, it’s fortunate that no one was hurt, and the house has since been demolished to keep the neighborhood safe. 

Youngstown’s Zombie Raccoon Epidemic: 

In April 2018, police in Youngstown, Ohio began receiving reports of strange raccoon behaviors that didn’t seem quite like rabies. 

Raccoons throughout town began walking upright, snarling, baring their teeth, and moving slowly towards residents before collapsing into a stiff, dormant state. 

When residents tries to scare them off, they quickly learned these zombie raccoons were fearless! 

Perhaps the strangest part of the story is that the raccoons were most active during the day! 

No one knew what was happening, but the sight was terrifying enough for residents to flood the local police with concerned calls. 

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources was fortunately able to determine the cause. It was not rabies, but instead a disease called “distemper.” 

You will be glad to know that distemper cannot transfer to humans. We won’t see a zombie apocalypse any time soon! 

Unfortunately, distemper can be transmitted to dogs, and the disease is much harder on their respiratory, nervous, and digestive systems. 

Even among normal raccoon populations, the risk of diseases like distemper or rabies is too high to ignore. 

Don’t put your pets, family, or home at risk of an infestation. 

Please contact us at 855-WILDLIFE or visit for more information. 

Thanks for reading! 
-Wildlife x Team International 

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