This doesn't come as good news to me, and for a very specific reason. I'm not a fan of raccoons, but that, in and of itself, is not why.

Before I get into what in the world a "zombie" raccoon is, let me tell you about my Gatlinburg encounter with three of those little buggers.

We were staying in a condo in Gatlinburg and I went down to get something out of my car.

There was this walkway from the elevator, around the swimming pool house, that led to the parking lot. It had walls on both sides.

I get out of the elevator and three raccoons were straddling the walkway and would not let me pass.

Thinking they would move, I started walking toward them.

They didn't move. They growled. But they didn't move. So I walked through the pool house and promptly fell, fully clothed, into the hot tub.

Thanks, raccoons!

NOW, we may have to deal with ZOMBIE raccoons. No, we're not talking The Walking Dead--Animal Kingdom Edition.

We're talking about raccoons with distemper, a contagious disease among animals, that causes the afflicted to stagger like they're drunk; appear confused and emaciated; and bare their teeth.

LEX18/Lexington reports that while there have been no reports of these "zombie" raccoons in Kentucky, their population is rising and Powell County, Kentucky Search and Rescue is already warning hikers to be on the lookout for any animal, really, that's acting strangely and exhibits the aforementioned symptoms.

"Zombie" raccoons. It's a thing

They ALREADY look like they aren't getting any sleep.