Rabies Vaccine Packets Eyed as Possible Cause of Sick Wildlife near Pittsburgh
Strange behavior observed in wildlife outside Pittsburgh has Ross Township theorizing that a rabies vaccine may be to blame.
Earlier, we covered the aerial drops of vaccine packets over Staten Island, and these same vaccinations were distributed in wooded areas of the Pennsylvania town. Now, residents are seeing raccoons and groundhogs that appear sick and near death wandering out from the woods, unable to respond or run away. This odd trend beginning so soon after dispersal of the vaccine led local police to suspect the packets as the cause, but a list of rabies symptoms from the Humane Society shows that disorientation and "drunk" behavior could also indicate a rabies infection, just in a different form than the more recognizable energetic symptoms.
The USDA says the vaccine packets have been in use for years, and should not cause adverse effects, but they will be investigating the incident near Pittsburgh as the cause is still unknown.
If you live in Staten Island or near Gateway Recreation Area and see any animals acting weak and confused or uncharacteristically docile and unafraid of humans, do not approach the animal and contact the NYC Department of Health via 311.