Raccoons may not be rabid, just drunk

In Milton, West Virginia, concerned citizens called police to report rabid raccoons but it turns out that the animals (the raccoons that is) were more likely just drunk. “We have had calls [of] suspected rabid raccoons twice over the last two days,” the Milton Police Department wrote in a short Facebook post. “Turns out they appear to be drunk on crab apples.” From Newsweek:

It wouldn’t be the first time an animal has made the headlines for public intoxication. In 2015, footage of a squirrel seemingly drunk on fermented crab apples hit YouTube—and attracted millions of views. National Geographic has previously captured footage of drunken monkeys.

National Geographic said in its own 2015 article that research found that animals definitely did get drunk, and listed such examples as butterflies, moths and moose. Don Moore, associate director of the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., told National Geographic that deer that had eaten fermented apples in orchards were known to get “pretty sleepy, even stumbly.”

Those who commented on the Milton Police Department’s post seemed to appreciate the update. One person joked, “Public intoxication, pretty serious. Thanks for putting him back in the woods.” Another Facebook user said, “I have one on my porch right now you can have.”

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