Hydrophobia Chronicles: When It Comes to Rabid Raccoons, It’s Kill or Be Killed

Racoon Has A Question

More prosaic reporting on interactions between mad animals and sometimes demented humans from ProMED Digest, the newsletter of the International Society of Infectious Diseases.

A woman attacked by a rabid raccoon in Prospect took matters into her own hands, literally. The raccoon jumped out from a backyard on Woodcrest Drive and bit the woman Monday morning.

“I turned around and grabbed him. Then he bit me in the hand. Almost took my thumb off, I mean bit right through the thumbnail. And then I managed to get a hold of him with my left hand, all the while screeching for my husband to come out. And I just shoved the raccoon to the ground and held him there,” said the woman.

The victim said she saw the animal chasing her dogs around the backyard. She got the dogs inside, but that’s when the raccoon attacked. She grabbed the attacking raccoon and choked it to death to keep it from biting her anymore. Her husband, hit the animal with a hammer to slow it down even more.

“What disturbs me is I smashed his mouth off, I smashed his teeth in; he still wanted to continue in the attack mode,” said the husband. “I was actually terrified at the resilience of this animal.” His wife had to be hospitalized for her injuries. “I knew she was hurt by the way she was hollering and screaming. I never heard my wife quite that loud or in that pitch,” he said.

The raccoon tested positive for rabies, so both the victim and her husband are undergoing rabies treatments.

It’s not the only attack by a raccoon in Prospect. According to police, a different raccoon injured a dog before taking off. The attack happened during daylight hours. Raccoons are nocturnal animals. The dog had to be euthanized, because it hadn’t had a rabies shot.

State Police issued a warning to residents in Prospect to be on the lookout for raccoons and skunks out during the daytime.

— –