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Utah Officials Warn Against Keeping Wild Animals As Pets

Wildlife officials are warning people against keeping wild animals as pets after a 5-year-old boy from Uintah County was badly scratched by his family’s pet raccoon. The Deseret News reports Thursday that the boy had to undergo surgery as a result of the scratches he suffered on Dec. 11. Tonya Kieffer-Selby, outreach manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says the raccoon was euthanized and sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be tested for diseases. Raccoons may carry diseases such as rabies, canine distemper, raccoon parvoviral enteritis and infectious canine hepatitis.