'What if it had rabies?': Raccoons running through Texas high school
AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin, Texas, school is dealing with some unwanted visitors who just won’t go away.
“This is not the first time me and Noah have reported on raccoons in the school,” said Morgan Eye who is a journalism student at McCallum High School.
Noah Braun, who wrote a recent article about the raccoons said he has found articles from the past that show similar incidents.
“There are articles you can find from the 90s, from the early 2000’s — and even the 2010s —talking about this,” said Braun.
While there have been issues with raccoons in the past, recently the number of incidents has increased, according to journalism students at the school.
“Six catches and releases all in the span of three days is the most we have ever seen here at school,” Eye said.
Braun says this week he heard a commotion outside his classroom and when he went out there was a raccoon.
“There was a raccoon that was getting sort of pinned up against that door by the officer and eventually he was able to get it out of the building,” Braun said.
Max Davis, who is a student at the school, said there are a number of videos and pictures of the raccoons being shared around the school.
“There was a raccoon that ran out of a bathroom and when it saw people it ran the other way,” said Davis.
Braun said they even found a dead raccoon in the walls recently.
“It was rotting,” Braun said. “Its corpse was rotting and it was spreading its smell everywhere”
KXAN reached out to Austin ISD who tells us they are addressing the issues.
“We understand that having raccoons on school grounds can be worrying for parents, and we take this matter seriously. I want to assure you that we are taking steps to address the issue in a humane and effective manner. We have contacted our Pest Management Department, a professional wildlife removal specialist, and they have already started working to prevent them from coming into the building with exclusion work, as well as setting humane traps for any others that we may not know about. The team will safely remove the raccoons from the school grounds and will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the problem is fully resolved.”
– Statement from Austin ISD
Some students tell KXAN it can be funny to see the raccoons running around, but it is also is concerning.
Eye says one raccoon fell through the ceiling and landed near a student in class.
“It was scared, it was running around and everything,” said Eye. “What if it bit her? What if it had rabies?”
KXAN reported on a raccoon found in the school last year.
McCallum High School was a school listed to get upgrades as a result of a 2022 bond that passed. In the past, the district said the upgrades would help fix the issues in the older school.