Hope Woman Drowns Rabid Raccoon During Vicious Attack
A woman from the town of Hope acted quickly when bitten by a rabid raccoon and drowned it in a nearby puddle.
21-year-old Rachel Borch told the Portland Press Herald that, as she prepared to go jogging, her brother warned her of a raccoon he'd spotted that was acting strangely. He suggested that it might be rabid, since it's unusual for the nocturnal animals to be seen during the day.
Borch was running on a fire road near her home when she saw the raccoon on the trail ahead of her, with its teeth bared. The animal charged her, lunging repeatedly, which caused her to drop her phone into a mud puddle. She said that it was obvious the raccoon was going to bite her, so she let it bite her thumb, and tried to hold it down while she figured out what to do.
When she noticed that her phone was submerged in water, she moved the raccoon to the mud puddle and held its head under water for what she said seemed like a very long time. Much of that time, the animal was still biting down on her thumb and clawing at her arms. Finally, the animal went limp and she was able to free her thumb.
The Maine Center for Disease Control tested the animal and confirmed that it was rabid. Borch has been treated for the disease and is going to be fine. Now, the local animal control officer is warning folks around the town of Hope that it's likely there are other rabid animals in the area. Find more information about rabies on the Maine CDC's website.