Dysentery hits raccoons on Cedar Key

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By Ada Lang

Police Chief Virgil Sandlin said in the past week his
department has received several calls regarding raccoons
that were displaying odd symptoms and ultimately had to be
Four raccoons were seen in the daylight acting oddly in
the general area of Hodges and Merrell Avenues.
Because they are nocturnal animals indicated a problem,
but in addition they also displayed balance problems —
walking, falling over, trying to walk again, falling again and
generally acting groggy and disoriented.
Sandlin has spoken to the Fish and Wildlife Commission
and those officials suspect dysentery to be the cause of this
behavior. He also stressed the importance of not feeding the
wildlife. Once accustomed to humans, they will approach
for more food and a semi-tame raccoon may be confused
with an ill one.
The chief said the police department will have no choice
but to discretely and humanely dispose of them in order to
protect the public.
According to Carol Witt, of the FWC’s regional office, if
you find abandoned baby animals, it is best to immediately
call the nearest licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
In Levy County that person is Jade LaFlair and can be
reached at 352-447-2291.
Please, do not raise them and later release them around
humans. If they do approach humans who do not realize they
are semi-tame, the police will be forced to dispatch them
because there is no way to be certain that they are not ill.
If you have any further questions, please call Witt at 386-
758-0525 at FWC or LaFlair.