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22 raccoons spotted hanging out in Central Park

Written by
Jillian Anthony

Seen any raccoons in Central Park lately? Here's a big, fat tip: Don't feed them! Or they'll organize like a group of unruly teens with nowhere to go, like they did this week.

Twenty-two raccoons gathered on the southeastern edge of the park on 59th Street, where beaming tourists stood to take selfies and feed them bits of pretzel, said the New York Times. Now, they've been showing up in packs night after night to be fed, though the parks department asks visitors not to feed any wildlife. It isn't illegal, but maybe you should keep in mind that behind those cute AF little masks, raccoons carry rabies. In fact, there was a large outbreak in the park in 2010, and this year, 311 received "1,153 raccoon-related inquiries." They out here!

If you're worried about how in the world raccoons would feed themselves, Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman Denning DeLaMater told the New York Times, “Raccoons are resilient and have an uncanny ability to find food in the wild. They are true omnivores, eating plants, animals and insects.” So, leave them alone! 


Um, those are NOT squirrels. What have you spotted in Central Park? Tag #timeoutnewyork! (📷

A photo posted by Time Out New York (@timeoutnewyork) on

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