Reports of ‘zombie-like’ raccoons puzzle police

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Police are busy fighting crime — and now, raccoons.

Several scared homeowners in Ohio called, saying the animals were in their yards, acting strangely. Police said it didn’t seem like rabies was the cause.

In the past couple of weeks, Youngstown police have responded to over a dozen of these raccoon calls — all of them with reports of the same strange, zombie-like behavior. The majority of the calls happened in the daytime, too, even though raccoons are nocturnal.

“I looked over there and got distracted because I saw a raccoon coming our way,” said Robert Coggeshall, whose playtime with his dogs was interrupted by a feisty and sick raccoon last week.

He put the dogs back in the house, but said the raccoon followed them to the door.

Once inside, the wildlife photographer grabbed his camera to document what he called “extremely strange behavior.”

“He would stand up on his hind legs, which I’ve never seen a raccoon do before, and he would show his teeth and then he would fall over backward and go into almost a comatose condition,” Coggeshall said.

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