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Health department wants to talk to man with raccoon on shoulder

Public health officials in Niagara County are seeking information on the whereabouts of a man with a raccoon seen circulating at the Music and Arts Festival June 19 in Niagara Falls.

The individual was seen posing for photographs with a raccoon on his shoulder at about 6 p.m. near Old Falls Street and Rainbow Boulevard. Officials are concerned about possible rabies exposure and are requesting that anyone who knows the individual with the raccoon, or anyone who touched the raccoon, call the Rabies Prevention Program at 439-7511.

Raccoons can spread the rabies virus and pose a risk to humans and domestic animals. Rabies is a lethal virus that infects the central nervous system of humans and other mammals. Anyone who has touched this raccoon needs to be evaluated for exposure, officials said.

It is against the law to harbor wild raccoons and display them to the public, officials said.