Raccoons in at least one West Virginia city apparently can’t handle their alcohol.
With the help of local neighborhood residents, officials with the Milton Police Department apprehended and then took a “masked bandit” — a raccoon — into custody Monday, the police department said on Facebook.
Those in the Milton neighborhood called authorities after they noticed the raccoon’s odd behavior; it was reportedly staggering around and appeared to be disoriented. Some locals were convinced it was rabid. Rather, it seems the creature just had too much to “drink.”
“We have had calls on suspected rabid raccoons twice over the last two days. Turns out they appear to be drunk on crab apples,” the Milton Police Department said.
While it may sound unusual, it is possible for animals to get “drunk” off of fermented berries and other food items. For instance, residents in a Minnesota city in October called authorities with several reports of birds crashing into windows and ramming into cars. Turns out, the birds were inebriated; reportedly intoxicated by berries that had fermented sooner than usual due to an early frost.
And in 2014, a squirrel went viral after gorging itself on too many fermented crab apples, much like the raccoon in West Virginia.
The drunk raccoon captured Monday wasn’t the first. Officials with the Milton Police Department said they had “apprehended” another just the day before.
Both animals were released near a wooded area “unharmed,” authorities said.
“If you see a staggering and disoriented raccoon please do not approach it. It could be sick so call us and we’ll take care of it,” they added.