FAIRHAVEN, Mass. (WPRI) — A Mattapoisett woman is being treated after she was bitten by a raccoon in her yard.
“It bit her on her thigh and scratched her leg,” explained Fairhaven Animal Control Officer Kelly Massey. Now, said Massey, the 20 pound raccoon is being tested for rabies.
According to Fairhaven Animal Control, the animal was first seen at the library, before it ran into the woman’s yard and attacked her.
On the library lawn, an outdoor story session was taking place, the kids were rushed inside at the sight of the raccoon.
The animal didn’t stop there, said Animal Control Officers. It made it’s way to Mattapoisett town beach, where it reportedly chased a lifeguard.
Animal control reached the raccoon as it perched in a tree. “It was growling at us, it was biting the pole, it was actually trying to come down the tree to try and attack us and then we would go up to it with the pole and then it would run back up the tree,” recalled Massey. “Your normal, regular raccoon, your non-sick one, would not do that,” she said.
Signs of rabies in animals range from walking in circles to aggression. According to Massey, “run to your safest area, put yourself in your car, in a house, get somewhere where it can’t climb and try to get you. ”
Making sure garbage sealed tightly and ensuring no food sources available are two simple ways to keep animals at bay, added Massey.