A woman from Hope, Maine was attacked and bitten by a rabid raccoon while jogging, forcing her to turn the tables and drown it in a nearby puddle.
When Rachel Borch went jogging near her home in Hope it must have been the furthest thing from her mind that a sick and aggressive raccoon would attack her, but that’s exactly what happened.
Suddenly her path was blocked by a small yet nasty little teeth-bearing animal sick with one of our worst fears: rabies. Ms. Borch said,
“Imagine the Tasmanian devil. It was terrifying.”
It was only a matter of seconds until Borch said that the insanity went from bad to worse saying “I knew it was going to bite me” and “I knew instantly it had to be rabid”
Her ordeal was just beginning.
Borch then did what most of would have done when something is attacking them and tried to use her hands to defend herself. The raccoon immediately sank its teeth into one of her thumbs. Try to imagine the woman’s fear and anguish as the creature started scratching her arms and legs wildly, all while having a death grip on her hand.
Somehow her head cleared enough to realize that her only recourse might be a nearby puddle. It was all she could do to drag the raging animal over and submerge it as fast as she could, but would it work?
The now belly-up animal, with its head under water was still in the fight: “It was still struggling and clawing at my arms. It wouldn’t let go of my thumb” Borch said she hung in there for what seemed like an eternity. Then it stopped struggling and “its arms sort of of fell to the side, its chest still heaving really slowly”
“It felt like [Stephen King’s] ‘Pet Sematary,’” she exclaimed.
“If there hadn’t been water on the ground, I don’t know what I would have done. It really was just dumb luck. I’ve never killed an animal with my bare hands. I’m a vegetarian. It was self-defense.”
Borch was taken immediately to the hospital where she started the rabies vaccine, immunoglobulin and tetanus injections. Her father went back to the scene and collected the dead raccoon. After handing it over to the Maine Warden Service it was determined to be positive for rabies.
The Maine Center for Disease Control has reminded everyone that where “there’s one [infected animal], there’s typically another.”
Caution should always be taken around wild animals, and if they seem to be acting strangely give them a wide berth.