Handling a Raccoon: a Deadly Mistake

We often hear from finders who have handled wild raccoons without gloves— a mistake that’s very easy to make when it’s just a little baby. Some people will also hand-feed adults or attempt, illegally, to raise orphans as pets. Please be careful: this is very dangerous!

When raccoon roundworm enters the human body, the worm gets confused and ends up all over the body, eventually consuming the brain. Raccoons who lose their fear of humans often bite, leading to serious injuries and infections. Worst of all, raccoon-variant rabies does occur in our area and is nearly 100% fatal after symptoms appear in a person. Please don’t risk your life for a brief interaction with a cute animal.

That said, if you have not been scratched or bitten, and have not directly handled raccoon poop, you probably have nothing to worry about. Just get in touch with your doctor to be on the safe side, and be mindful in the future. Please respect wild animals from a distance.

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