Raccoons in West Virginia thought to be drunk on crab apples had distemper
When locals in Milton, West Virginia observed two staggering and disoriented raccoons they feared the dazed creatures were infected with rabies. Police responded and trapped the raccoons, concluding that they weren’t rabid but drunk from eating crabapples that had fermented on a tree. Both raccoons were allowed to sober up and released into the wild and the Facebook updated posted by the Milton, West Virginia police department went viral. But when a third raccoon fell out of a tree about a week later, police brought in local wildlife experts who concluded the raccoon may have distemper, a serious viral disease that can affect some animals. Police tracked down the second raccoon they’d trapped and found it continuously seizing in a spot close to where they’d released it. That raccoon and the raccoon that fell from the tree were euthanized. Police could not find the first raccoon but Milton police wrote on Facebook that they hoped it “was in fact drunk on crabapples, has sobered up and is thriving in the wild as it should be.”
The National Park Service could have new director by years end
After nearly two years without a director, the National Park Service may soon have a new leader. On November 15, David Vela appeared before the Senate Energy and National Resource Committee, vowing for transparency and accountability as director of the National Park Service. Vela has worked with the National Park Service for 28 years, most recently serving as superintendent of Grand Teton National Park. He has also served as the associate director of Workforce, Relevancy and Inclusion in the Park Service’s D.C. office and as the National Park Service’s Southeast director. Many environmental and conservation groups, like the National Parks Conservation Association, have praised Vela’s nomination. Other groups have expressed concern. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) worry about Vela’s commitment to preserving the wilderness, pointing to Vela’s decision as Southeast director to allow off-road vehicles in public lands adjacent to Florida’s Big Cypress National Reserve. Vela’s nomination now moves for vote before the full Senate, which is likely to happen before the end of the year. If confirmed, Vela will be the first Latino director of the National Park Service.
Registration is now open for Richmond’s Shiver in the River
Registration is now open for the fifth annual Shiver in the River taking place on February 23, 2019. Participants can join a community clean up, run or walk a 5K, jump into the James River—or do all 3. Shiver in the River is a fundraising event for Keep Virginia Beautiful. Funds raised help increase programs that support litter prevention, community outreach, education, recycling and beautification for Richmond and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Participants that register before the end of the year save on 5K registration and have a chance to win a VIP package.
Event website: https://shiverintheriver.com/