By: JOSELYN ELLINGTON
Students received an email Friday, Oct. 13, warning about suspected sick raccoons on campus.
In the email students were told to “be careful,” and that “sick raccoons could be aggressive and not afraid of humans.”
When transfer student Kyra Deloach read the email she was frightened and to be proactive about her safety she began to do some research. She watched a lot of old videos about rabies and learned how deadly it can be. She discovered that the famous poet Edgar Allen Poe was a victim of the deadly disease, she said.
“If I see a raccoon tonight, I am going to run,” Deloach said.
Kyra Deloach is an assistant at the Campus Housing Community Building.
“I have not seen any raccoons, but I believe they are attracted to trash being left out on housing balconies,” Deloach said. “We’ve been told not to set trash outside, but people have been doing it anyway.”
IUSB is not the only place for suspected sick raccoons; the entire city of South Bend has noticed a recent spike according to the South Bend Tribune.
Jenn Gobel, director of South Bend Animal Control and Care said this September alone thirty-three sick raccoons were euthanized compared to only two in September last year, the South Bend Tribune reported. Officials are unsure what has caused the recent spike.
Director of St. Joe County Humane Society Genny Carlson urges individuals with domestic animals to have them vaccinated and said it is very important to keep a close eye on them, according to the South Bend Tribune report. According to Carlson, a dog or cat does not have to be in direct contact with an infected raccoon to be vulnerable to the disease. Furthermore a raccoon sick with rabies can infect a large number of raccoons in a short period of time according to the Department of Health TN.gov.
Signs to look for in a sick raccoon are slow movement, a sick appearance and imbalance or disorientation according to Department of Health TN.gov. To determine if a raccoon has rabies it must be brought in and examined.
If you spot a suspicious raccoon, call IU police department at 574-520-4499 ext. 2.