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The hunt for a man who stumbled upon a (most likely) oddly-behaving, perhaps even frothing, raccoon in the 1300 block of Shepherd Street NW last week—and carried it around for a while—is still on. The D.C. Department of Health (DOH) is searching for the man because the raccoon had rabies, and the man may be infected. Department spokesperson Dena Iverson says she doesn’t know why the man picked up the raccoon—but says a witness spotted him doing it. The witness believes the man was restraining the animal.
Asked for a description of the raccoon whisperer, Iverson says via email: “The unknown individual may be Hispanic or light skinned African American and was wearing a baseball cap.” Not much of a description, but hey, add a raccoon bite and rabies symptoms (like delirium) to that and you’ve got a chance of spotting the guy. Despite all the fliers DOH has pumped out, it hasn’t received any tips about the potentially rabid man’s whereabouts. Come on, people!
So far, there have been 21 cases of rabies in the District in 2010. One of the carriers was a bat, another a feral cat, another a fox—the rest have been raccoons.
Photo byAlan VernonCreative Commons Attribution License