Sign in Washington hacked to display surprising warning about ‘angry raccoons’


Good news and bad news for residents of Spokane, Washington: While there have been no reports of “angry raccoons” threatening the public, the city does, however, seem to have a prankster on its hands.

On Wednesday, Feb. 28, drivers on Northwest Boulevard in Spokane were greeted with a most unusual message on a construction sign. 

Instead of a typical “Road Work Ahead” or “Slow” message, the sign read “Angry Raccoons Ahead.” 

The sign bore the message during the early morning commute, said The Spokesman Review, a newspaper based in Spokane. 

Mike Biggs, owner of Spokane Traffic Control, Inc., the company that provided the sign, told Fox News Digital in a phone interview that the sign had been hacked. 

The culprit, he said, has not been identified. 

“I’ve gotten quite a few laughs,” Beggs told Fox News Digital. 

There have been zero reports regarding “angry raccoons” in the city of Spokane. Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday was the first time one of his signs had been hacked to display a different message than the one intended — and he is worried the culprit may strike again.

“You just never know,” he said. 

Beggs was unsure how exactly the sign was hacked, or what it was originally supposed to read.

The sign bore the message during the morning commute, said The Spokesman Review. Romeo Andrei Cana

He told Fox News Digital that the signs have “three or four compartments” that could be opened with a bit of finesse. 

“So if you’re in this field at all, or have been around them at all, almost anybody,” he said, could change the message on the sign.

Beggs joked that the vandal “sure picked the right phrase” to use on the sign, as the story has taken off far beyond Spokane. 

Owner of Spokane Traffic Control Mike Biggs explained how someone could open the sign and change the words. cullenphotos

“They could have been a lot more brutal,” he said — noting that there have been “horror stories” of signs in other places being hacked to display messages that are inappropriate. 

“It could have been worse,” he said. 

Raccoons, said the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website, “are a common sight in much of Washington, often drawn to urban areas by food supplied by humans.”

As for “angry” raccoons? 

“As long as raccoons are kept out of human homes, not cornered and not treated as pets, they are not dangerous,” said the same website.

Raccoons can carry rabies, however, in other parts of the country, the site noted — and there are specific and important signs to pay attention to indicating that an animal could be ill. 

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