Rachel Borch, from Hope, Maine, was forced to drown a rabid raccoon after it attacked her while she was jogging on a wooded trail near her home.

As she was going down the path, she saw a raccoon several feet ahead, baring its teeth and growling. The raccoon attacked and bit Borch, but she managed to confront the critter and head to the nearest hospital to seek treatment.

Image credit: Kim Lincoln / Camdem Herald
Image credit: Kim Lincoln / Camdem Herald
Image credit: Kim Lincoln / Camdem Herald

“I knew instantly it had to be rabid,” stated Borch after being attended in the Pen Bay Medical Center.

A confrontation with a rabid raccoon

Borch headed out for a walk on the Hatchet Mountain Road in Hope, as she had done for years. After a while, she saw the rabid raccoon in the middle of the road. Without hesitation, the raccoon attacked her.

She tried to fend off the raccoon but then decided to hold it down with her hands. Then, the critter to bit her thumb, while it struggled and scratched her arms as she tried to suffocate it. Still holding on with its jaws, the raccoon kept frantically attacking Borch.

Borch remembered that moments earlier, she dropped her phone in a nearby pool. In a matter of seconds, Borch took the raccoon and sunk it in the pond, holding it down with all of her weight. The raccoon fought until the last moment, but it eventually stopped moving.

Finally, the girl could free herself from the raccoon’s grasp and start to run back home to seek help. She even looked back to see if the raccoon was still alive, comparing the episode to a horror movie.

Borch was almost a mile away from home, and while running back, she remembered that had been bit by a rabid animal. She was scared at the thought of foaming at the mouth and becoming unconscious. Luckily, Rachel’s mom and dad were home at the time.

Rachel headed to the hospital while her father recovered the raccoon’s corpse from the nearby pond. He took the body to the Maine Warden Service, where it was analyzed, and then confirmed that the raccoon was rabid.

Since the attack was made public, reporters from several news sites interviewed Rachel, including the Washington Post, USA Today, Cosmopolitan, Runner’s World, and Sports Illustrated.

If left untreated, rabies is lethal in 100 percent of the cases. It can affect any warm-blooded animal through contact with saliva or scratches. It acts upon the central nervous system and can cause fever, anxiety, vomiting, and partial paralysis.

If there is suspicion of being bit by a rabid animal, the first step is to call emergencies, as it is necessary to get an anti-rabies shot to cure the disease. First responders should stop the bleeding, clean the wound with clean water and soap, gather information about the animal or bring the animal itself, and then seek out professional medical assistance. Anti-rabies treatment comprehends several shots, and it may take several days depending on the patient.

Source: Bangor Daily News