Woman drowns rabid raccoon that attacked her while jogging

Oceane Deschanel
Junho 16, 2017

"Imagine the Tasmanian devil", she told the Bangor Daily News.

Rachel Borch, of Hope, says she was running in woods near her home June 2 when she saw the raccoon charging with its teeth bared.

Borch said she "knew instantly it had to be rabid". Within seconds, it stood at her feet.

In an instant, Borch decided her best bet was to use her hands to defend herself and grab it, which she did as it bit her and latched onto her skin. Borch then made a decision to bolt as fast as she could off the beaten path and through the thick forest to return home as quickly as possible. At that point, Borch, a vegetarian, had to do what she had to do.

"I didn't think I could strangle [the raccoon] with my bare hands", she told DBN. The raccoon chomped down on her thumb and stayed there, scratching at her legs and arms as she screamed.

Not surprisingly, Borch has since changed her belief that raccoons are cute and cuddly, saying "I just will never look at them the same way".

"With my thumb in its mouth, I just pushed its head down into the muck", recounts Borch. She held the animal's head under the water until its movements finally slowed. "It wouldn't let go of my thumb", she said.

"How this girl had the peace of mind to do what she did boggles me", said Blood.

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Borch saw the path was too narrow to run past it.

She started dancing around it, trying to figure out what to do, she said.

Kicking her shoes off because they were soaked, Borch ran the three-quarters of a mile home to her house.

Her mother drove her to a medical center, per the Daily News.

Her father retrieved the animal and wrapped it in a dog food bag before handing it over to the Maine Warden Service.

An Animal Control officer praised Borch's composure, saying she was receiving rabies treatment in a nearby hospital.

"Not to scare people", Blood said, but "when there's one [infected], there's typically another".

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