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""Known to carry rabies"? Yes, any mammal that is not vaccinated can contract rabies. yes, wild animals should be respected as such. But speaking of "overstated risks" and "dangerous" animals, let's shed perspective! In the US there are barely 1-3 deaths a year from rabies. Red ant bites kill 50 people a year. Horses are extremely "dangerous" animals. I have both, and I teach both (riding and wildlife appreciation). Balyscaris roundworm, called 'raccoon roundworm' because raccoons have evolved immunity to it, can also be a risk. There are less than 30 cases EVER recorded in humans. Over 100 species can carry it, and the common puppy roundworm blinds several hundred children a year. The moral? Do not eat poop. The other night, as happens fairly often in the country here, I surpised and momentarily "cornered" raccoons and opossums in our hay barn. Of course I back away, they leave. Any animal (AND human) will fight to protect their offspring, this does not make them "dangerous" in the context used. Perspective, respect, and COMMON SENSE are what the "superior" species needs to maintain. NOT FEAR. Wild animals are every bit the sentient beings our cats and dogs are. They have sustained mankind for 1,000's of years. Isn't it time to start returning the favor with a little more patience and respect, especially for all the habitat we have taken away from them. I have never met an aggressive animal - only a scared one."

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