Central Park Dog Walker

Marla Diamond/WCBS 880

Dog Walkers Warned Of Raccoon Dangers In Central Park

August 10, 2018 - 12:16 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on Friday put out a warning to those who walk their dogs in Central Park to keep them on a leash, after two people were bitten by raccoons this week.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, Izzy the Labradoodle was wandering along the Bridle Path at 72nd Street with his owner a few steps behind.

Fred Glass said the dog walkers in the area are well aware of the raccoons, and they warn each other.

"Like I said, there's a little tunnel under there on the Bridle Path, and they said one's hanging out underneath there," Glass said.

A total of 80 raccoons in Central Park have tested positive this year for canine distemper. Dr. Sally Savinski, a veterinarian with the city Health Department, tells parkgoers what to watch out for.

"They can appear confused, disoriented, sometimes fearless, maybe even aggressive – and unfortunately, there is no cure for this virus," Savinski said.

The virus does not transmit to humans. But people are being warned to vaccinate their dogs and keep them on a leash at all times.