HOPE, MAINE — A young woman’s beautiful day in the woods was hijacked by a rabid raccoon with an insatiable thirst for blood.
On June 2, Rachel Borch, 21, was jogging through the forest by her home when she caught sight of a woodland creature who just didn’t look right. The next thing Rachel knew, a maniacal raccoon was bounding toward her like “the Tasmanian devil.” Holding out her hands to protect herself, the raccoon lunged forth and sank its teeth into her thumb. Panicked and in pain, she glanced over to see a puddle nearby. Holding a firm grip on the raccoon, she plunged it into the water, and held him under until he stopped moving.
Rachel then rushed to the nearest hospital to seek treatment. The raccoon’s body was later recovered by wildlife authorities, and it did indeed test positive for the rabies virus. Having now received several injections, Rachel is expected to stave off the violent infection, according to the Bangor Daily News.
If left untreated, rabies does carry a 100% rate of fatality. According to the CDC, raccoons account for more than 30% of rabies cases, the majority of which reside on the east coast. Only one to three cases of rabies contracted by humans are reported in the U.S. each year.