A 75-year old woman strangled a rabid raccoon after it viciously attacked her while she was taking a walk.
The woman, Class Overton lives in Henrico County, Virginia. She was taking a hike through the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond when the rabid animal ran out of the nearby wood and attacked her leg. The rabid raccoon was scratching and clawing at her leg and when she tried to shake the creature off, she realized just how violent and rabid it really was.
Overton told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that as she was moving away from it, still facing it, she just grabbed its neck and knew that it was her or the raccoon. She knew that she couldn’t get away from and so she threw it to the ground and started strangling it with both hands.
When the animal was dead, Overton called the nature center’s front desk and 911 was called. Class Overton was taken to a local hospital where she received first aid as well as the first of several shots to prevent rabies.
Blood and tissue samples were taken from the raccoon and it was confirmed that the animal had rabies.
Overton is a self-proclaimed animal lover and said that at the moment of the attack, self-preservation kicked in knew it was either her or the raccoon. She continued:
[…] a primitive part of my brain just went into operation and that was it.
A spokesperson for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond said that the path where the woman was attacked was closed down in order for the staff members to check for more potentially infected fauna.
In the United States, raccoons and skunks are the most common carrier of rabies and they are both nocturnal. It is highly unlikely for these animals to attack people during the day, but when the rabies virus is present, it undermines an animal’s instincts, making it behave out of the ordinary.
Rabies is an extremely deadly virus transmitted through saliva and blood. Rabies shots need to be given to any person or animal that is suspected of being bitten by an infected animal. If that doesn’t happen and the first symptoms of the disease start setting in, then there is no cure. Once settled in, rabies is 100% deadly and there is no cure or treatment.
Image Source: Daily Mail