Raccoon Found in Princeton Tests Positive for Rabies

raccoonA baby raccoon that was found in the Pretty Brook Road area on June 4 has tested positive for rabies, officials announced yesterday.

The raccoon was found by a Princeton resident who transported it to the Mercer County Wildlife Center, where the raccoon later died. The raccoon was then tested at the state lab and was found to have rabies.

Anyone that came in contact  with a raccoon or handled a raccoon in the Pretty Brook Road area should contact the Princeton Police Department as soon as possible.

Police say residents should not to handle any wildlife under any circumstances.

If residents see wildlife that appears to be sick or out of place, they should contact the Princeton Police Dept at (609) 921-2100. Police will contact the Princeton Animal Control Officer, who will handle the situation appropriately, police say.

The discovery of the rabid raccoon and instructions not to handle wildlife come a few months after the town changed its policy regarding wildlife and the intervention of the animal control officer. Animal control has been under the supervision of the police department since last year. Previously the health officer supervised animal control.

Under the new policy, posted on the town’s website last month, the Princeton animal control officer no longer responds to wildlife nuisances, only cases where wildlife poses a real threat to humans or pets, or where wildlife appears sick or injured.

The animal control officer no longer helps remove wild animals living under decks, storage sheds, or porches;animals living in attics, basements, detached garages or sheds; or animals that damage gardens, flower beds or shrubs.