Woman had 11 pet raccoons in home, one rabid

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- A woman was found to have raised 11 raccoons inside her St. Simons Island home as pets. One of the raccoons was found to be rabid and caused a warning this week.

The Glynn County Health Department says the rabid raccoon was found in the 6th Street area of St. Simons Island and at least 5 people were exposed to that rabid raccoon.

Law enforcement says a woman living in the only house on 6th street was illegally keeping 11 raccoons in her home as pets.

"We're very concerned because there have been a lot of people around this one animal," Cpt. Doug Lewis with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said.

6 other raccoons she had given away as pets were found and are being tested for rabies. The other four could be loose on St. Simon's Island or being held as pets somewhere.

"We don't really know where they're at. A couple of these raccoons have been found in counties around us, so our main goal right now is try to make sure that everybody knows if they're holding raccoons that came from this area. We want to make sure that people get these animals protected and if they are infected they start getting treatment," Lewis said.

Jerry Fortner was out riding bikes with his family in the area. He owns a condo nearby and is concerned.

"I mean, it doesn't need to be around with small kids and stuff. I mean, it needs to be eradicated for sure."


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