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Live Raccoon Found on Matson Cargo Ship

Posted January 3, 2013, 07:54 AM HST
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Photo courtesy Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

By Wendy Osher

A 15-pound live raccoon was captured aboard a Matson cargo ship that arrived in Honolulu on Monday from Long Beach, California.

Quarantine inspectors with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture worked with Matson personnel to lure the adult female raccoon into a trap.

Raccoons are invasive to Hawaii, posing a threat with their omnivorous diet and ability to carry rabies and other diseases.

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Hawaii remains the only rabies-free state in the nation. Tests for the disease were being sent to a mainland laboratory yesterday.

State officials say raccoons are a native to North America and are the most frequently reported rabid wildlife species in the US with 2,246 cases in 2010.

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