CITY ISLAND - The New York City Health Department is warning the residents of City Island about rabid raccoons that have been recently spotted for the first time in the area.

The DOH claims two infected raccoons were found in May, followed by the discovery of a stray rabid kitten in July. No other cases of rabies have been reported since.

Local residents are not surprised by the news of the black-eyed critters roaming their neighborhood.

?They have been around this island for years,? says Mike Grimaldi, of City Island. ?Some people even have them as pets!?

Department of Health officials are urging Bronx residents to take extra precautions, regardless of where they live in the borough.

People are advised to watch their pets and avoid leaving their food outside. DOH officials also warn residents to stay away from wild or stray animals, and especially night animals like raccoons that are seen during the day- that is a sign they could be infected with rabies.

The DOH also asks residents who notice these signs in animals in their area to call 311 and not to approach these critters.