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Survival 101: Rabid Animals! 3 things you must always be aware of

If you have spent any time in the wilderness, then you have probably had the misfortune of coming across a sick animal in the woods.

I was driving through the local state park yesterday when I came upon this disturbing sight. This is a sick raccoon, which probably has the rabies. There are telltale signs that this guy is sick, and you should always be aware of these signs in case you are in a survival situation. Because, not only do you not want to get bit by this thing, you also don’t want to mistake it for a blessing and kill and eat it. Here are three sure signs that an animal is sick and you need to get it away from you.

  1. It’s out when it should be in. For those of you who don’t know, raccoons are nocturnal so at 12:00 noon on a scalding day he shouldn’t be awake, let alone staggering through a hot parking lot on a crowded beach.
  2. He curls into a ball. As depicted in the top photo, a sick animal will often curl into a ball because it’s gut is hurting it. This guy was biting at his belly as something ate him up from the inside.
  3. He’s lethargic. You can tell just by looking at this guy’s eyes that something is missing. Also note that those eyes are crusty. That’s never good. And to be honest, though I had diagnosed this poor wretched creature with rabies, it’s more likely that he is suffering from distemper, a disease that affects cats fairly often too. This can be misleading too because with diseases such as mange or rabies, quite often the animal will be bald in places where it has gnawed it’s own fur off. Diseases like distemper can render a sick animal with the appearance of a healthy one.
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