It turns out, New Yorkers only have a little bit to be afraid of when it comes to raccoons.
According to the New York Post, raccoons have a high risk of rabies, thus hundreds of them get put down in New York every year. They even had to put down lil’ tiger once they caught them.
“The raccoon was brought into our facility and was euthanized as required by law for all vector species animals brought into the shelter,” said a spokesperson for New York’s Animal Care Centers.
However, it turns out that though hundreds of raccoons are put down each year, only a small percentage of them end up having rabies. The sad part is, the raccoons have to be dead in order for them to administer the test, because they need their brain tissue.
New York is required to destroy animals suspected of having rabies, unless they’re dogs, cats, ferrets or livestock. These animals can be held under observation if they bite a human and the test isn’t done if they don’t seem sick after 10 days.
Whereas, when it comes to raccoons, The Health Department tested 662 raccoons for rabies between 2014 and 2016 and only 18 turned out to have the viral disease.
So basically, raccoons have to deal with being mistaken for wild cats AND they have to deal with species profiling.