Residents of one New Jersey Shore town are being urged to be extra careful outside as officials investigate what they're calling a "possible rabies epidemic."
According to New Jersey Advanced Media, residents of Pt. Pleasant noticed raccoons acting in a strange manner. Animal Control received several calls and Officer Jack Neary went to investigate.
He said the animals were:
walking down the middle of the street or sidewalk and most were very agitated and vocalizing very heavily.
After a survey of the town was made, 15 raccoons were deemed to be positive for rabies and were put down.
This seems to be a real problem, Neary, a trained Animal Control Officer said he was bit by one of the rabid raccoons. He reported to New Jersey Advanced Media that he is getting treatment.
Officials are warning residents to be very observant when outside. Officer Neary expects that there will be more rabies cases in the coming days.
When we think of a rabid animal, we tend to think of aggression. But, Neary says that animals may act timid or shy, and might move slowly. The danger in this situation is that people are more able to approach the animal in this state.