A woman from North Dakota has been charged with three crimes after she took a raccoon she rescued named Rocky to a bar for happy hour.
The woman found Rocky on the side of the road and planned to release him into the wild after nursing him back to health. All took a horrible turn when she brought Rocky to Maddock Bar for happy hour. The woman, Erin Christensen, is facing two years in prison and a $7,500 fine.
According to the bartender, no one at the bar was bitten by the raccoon, but the state’s health and human services department is releasing a warning about possible rabies exposure.
The 38-year-old woman was arrested after authorities found her and the raccoon after issuing several search warrants in and around the bar. Christensen reportedly found the raccoon on the side of the road three months prior and was nursing him back to health before she planned on releasing him into the wild. Rocky was seized and tested negative for rabies but authorities still euthanized him.
It is illegal to own a raccoon in North Dakota and Christensen has been charged with providing false information to law enforcement, tampering with physical evidence, and unlawful possession of furbearers.
If you happen to see a raccoon that is wounded or appears to be acting abnormally, stumbling or frothing at the mouth, keep your distance and call Animal Control right away. As with all wildlife, it is always best to leave the animals undisturbed and NOT to feed them, even if they look perfectly normal.
Human intervention, however well-meaning it may be, can cause animals to lose their fear of people or become dependent on them for food, which could end poorly if the animal comes across a person who is not so eager to make wild friends.
Many of us share our neighborhoods with wild animals, so it is vitally important we learn how to properly interact with them to keep all parties safe!
This article by Hailey Kanowsky was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 26 September 2022. Lead Image Source : Ermolaeva Olga 84/Shutterstock.
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