The summer heat has increased the number of instances that residents have encountered rabid raccoons, officials around Bulloch County municipalities say.
Brooklet Police Chief Doug Meyer told the Brooklet City Council Thursday evening that since the last council meeting in May, two additional raccoons have tested positive for rabies. One instance ended with the raccoon battling the cat of a city resident.
The Bulloch County Animal Control is aware and assisting with the issue and Meyer told council, “We are better off than the City of Statesboro, who is having a big problem with rabid raccoons. This is not an epidemic though.” Meyer said this time of year usually sees an increase in these types of incidents.
Meyer warned residents to consider some of the following characteristics:
- Daytime sightings. Raccoons are almao at completely nocturnal. A daytime sighting is a red flag.
- A ragged coat. Raccoons have shiny, healthy coats and a disheveled look should be cause for concern.
- If they’re moving slow – if a raccoon doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to get where they’re going, think twice.
- Breathing through their mouths. Only dogs are mouth breathers, all other animals breathe through their noses. A mouth breathing raccoon is almost 100% likely to be rabid.
Rabid raccoons are not afraid of adults, kids, other animals, or cars, and should be avoided whenever possible. Do not try to handle a rabid raccoon on your own.