One of the things about growing up on a farm is that you're always close to wildlife. Seeing a possum or a raccoon was not out of the ordinary. But I was told at a young age that seeing a raccoon during daylight hours is NOT normal. Raccoons are nocturnal and doing usually make daylight appearances. I'll never forget seeing a raccoon one morning before school. It walked right up to my mom's car and put its front legs on the door and tried to climb in. Not normal behavior. And a sign that it was probably sick.

As spring arrives, you'll likely see more of our furry friends out and about. But a raccoon out during the day still likely means something is off. The top cause of illness in raccoons is either rabies or distemper. Distemper can cause some strange behavior. Just ask residents in the state of Ohio. They've been reporting of 'zombie-like' behavior in some raccoons. They'll walk on their hind legs, bare their teeth and drool. Wildlife experts say it's a likely sign of distemper. A friend of mine on Facebook posted this earlier this week, warning of a day walking raccoon sighting!

Warning your neighbors of a raccoon out during the day is probably a good idea. If it is sick you don't want it interacting with your pets and small animals. The best thing to do is call animal control and inform them of the issue. Distemper is common in large populations of raccoons but does NOT harm humans.


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