Parks are typically a place for people to enjoy nature, but recently at Two Moon Park in the Billings Heights, there have been reports of raccoons exhibiting strange behavior and that has visitors concerned.
Two Moon Park is a special place for Joyce Vogt. The 70-year-old Billings resident has been visiting the park since she was five years old.
“It’s a great place, and it’s just too dangerous for children and dogs to go down there," Vogt said.
Her most recent visit was not so pleasant, though. She found raccoons with strange behavior, possibly indicating they were sick, and one was dead along the trails.
“Here we have raccoons, one dead and one with real symptoms of rabies," Vogt said. "All in a park where hundreds of people go, and it’s scary.”
Vogt and others in the area contacted the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office with their concerns, who pointed them to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP). MTN reached out to FWP, who directed questions to Montana Department of Health and Human Services. MTN also reached out to Yellowstone County Animal Control, who redirected questions back to FWP.
It's a mind-boggling headache that Vogt has also been living.
“I don’t want to call anybody out," Vogt said. "I don’t know what’s more important than the safety of the people and animals of the city."
Barb Clayton frequently visits Two Moon Park with her dogs. On Tuesday, she was walking the trails again, and while she didn't have any run-ins with raccoons, she's on alert.
“We don’t know yet; I haven’t seen anything yet," Clayton said. "But hopefully if it’s something that’s bad it’ll be taken care of.”
Clayton also said that she thinks the animals may already have been removed.
“I try to get around the place as much as I can, and I never saw them today,” Clayton said.
And that could be good news for Vogt — who wants to make sure the animals are gone before she returns to one of her favorite places.
“I can’t go down there right now," Vogt said. "It scared me, and I will go, but I wasn’t going to go down there until I make sure that that’s taken care of. It’s our place, and it’s unsafe right now and it’s scary.”