Seemingly lethargic and 'drunk' raccoons spotted in Ottawa suburb, residents say

By Jacob Dubé, Ottawa Citizen, September 9, 2019

Residents of an Ottawa suburb have been reporting sightings of raccoons acting as though they’d had one too many.

First reported by the CBC, neighbours in Stittsville are sharing images and videos of raccoons lying around and acting very lethargic — and some believe they’re getting drunk off of fermented berries.

Emily Rodgers told the National Post she was about to let her one-year-old son play in the backyard when she came across one of these raccoons after coming back from a weekend trip.

(...)Ryan Rainville, general manager of Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, said his company had received a few calls in the region regarding raccoons acting strangely — one apparently fell into a fence.

But while Rainville said the tale of raccoons getting intoxicated from fermented berries might be more interesting, they might have been suffering from a contagious disease.

Distemper can cause them to appear sleepy and lethargic, appearing “drunk” and losing balance, and approaching people with a lack of aggression.

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