Live raccoon found aboard Matson cargo ship in Honolulu

Published: Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:54 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2013 at 12:51 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - HONOLULU (Hawaii News Now) - Officials from the state Department of Agriculture say a live raccoon was captured aboard a Matson cargo ship after it arrived in Honolulu from Long Beach, Calif. on Monday.

Matson personnel reportedly called the Hawaii Department of Agriculture Monday afternoon after they saw the raccoon scampering on the deck of the ship. Plant quarantine inspectors were dispatched with traps, and were able to lure the raccoon into a trap using food.

The adult female raccoon weighed about 15 pounds. Rabies tests were sent to a Mainland laboratory on Wednesday.

A Department of Agriculture spokesperson said that the raccoon was euthanized after it was captured, since rabies tests require brain tissue.

Raccoons are native to the North American continent and can carry rabies and other diseases.

Hawaii is the only rabies-free state in the U.S., and wild animals accounted for 92 percent of reported cases of rabies in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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