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Choppers dropping vaccine packets in Chattanooga area to immunize raccoons

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Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press. Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

They look like ketchup packets, smell like fish and are being dropped by the thousands on Chattanooga.

And raccoons love ‘em.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services is using a helicopter to sprinkle raccoon-variant rabies vaccination packets from the air Monday and Tuesday in Hamilton and Bradley counties as part of its annual effort to thwart the viral disease's spread.

The federal agency has set out raccoon rabies vaccine bait here since 2003 from cars, trucks and small airplanes — but this is the first time it has used an agency helicopter that drops packets from about 500 feet overhead at 115 mph.

Read more from our news partner the Times Free Press.

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