June 16, 2017

"I knew instantly it had to be rabid... Imagine the Tasmanian devil... I knew it was going to bite me."

"I didn’t think I could strangle [the raccoon] with my bare hands... With my thumb in its mouth, I just pushed its head down into the muck... It was still struggling and clawing at my arms. It wouldn’t let go of my thumb.... It felt like ‘Pet Sematary’... If there hadn’t been water on the ground, I don’t know what I would have done.... I’ve never killed an animal with my bare hands. I’m a vegetarian. It was self-defense... I always thought of raccoons as this cute, cuddly forest animal...."

Said Rachel Borch, who was jogging through the woods near her home in Hope, Maine.

36 comments:

exiledonmainstreet said...

Raccoons can be very vicious.

A neighbor's cat ran after a raccoon one day and they never saw the cat again.

When I lived in an apartment, I took the trash out to the dumpster behind the building one morning and there was a raccoon that looked as big as a collie sitting on the lid. I decided it was not a good time to throw out my trash.

TerriW said...

I used to think deer were cute until I lived in Texas.

Bob Boyd said...

Doctors say, with physical therapy, she may hitchhike again.

St. George said...

"We are the domestic pets of a human zoo we call civilization. Most of us sleep through the test. We get in and get out and never know what might have been demanded. In the wilderness, we engage forces we do not understand. The mountain is always falling, in a state of continuous collapse. We live in a compressed time frame that does not match many phenomena we encounter in nature."

-Laurence Gonzales

James K said...

"It needed to die." A vegetarian meeting a rabid animal is like an atheist in a foxhole.

robother said...

On the brighter side, she could skin the coon and make a hat, and when asked about it, reply simply "kilt it with ma bare hands." Outside of Portland, that's probably enough to not pay for a drink the rest of the evening.

Ann Althouse said...

She had every right to brutally slay the animal completely for herself, but it might be noted that she also put the animal out of its misery. The animal was dying and suffering terribly.

Michael K said...

A couple of rounds, even from a .380, would fix things up fine.

Fen said...

Normally I would expect some government Nazi to charge her with animal cruelty. But this is Bangor Maine.

When we (Marines) flew back from Somalia we arrived in Bangor at 3am in blizzard conditions. Hundreds of residents where waiting at the gate for us with cookies and cake and omg coca-cola. Good people.

Yancey Ward said...

Can anyone be surprised that rabid animals are in the increase in the Age of Trump?

tim maguire said...

My neighborhood is infested with raccoons. They are nasty and destructive and there's nothing we can do because they are protected because I live in a city run by "green" idiots.

whitney said...

I've been noticing rabid animals in my area lately. I live in a major urban center and there have been rabid foxes cats and raccoons and the last 6 months.

The Godfather said...

Good for her! Even though she's a vegetarian.

AReasonableMan said...

I have had to trap a lot of raccoons over the years. Lot of variability in how aggressive they are. For the most aggressive I got a guy to shoot them otherwise I just relocated them, although those ones probably died as well.

Had no real choice, they insisted on ripping up my roof, which was easily accessed from some overhanging trees. Either the trees had to go or the raccoons. I like the trees.

Kirk Parker said...

ARM,

Those weren't the only options... your house could have gone. I'm sure it's the newcomer, you know... NOT native.

urbane legend said...

What does being a vegetarian have to do with defense against a wild animal? She didn't kill it to eat. Now, if it was a wild squash that attacked her ...

Ann Althouse said...
She had every right to brutally slay the animal completely for herself, but it might be noted that she also put the animal out of its misery. The animal was dying and suffering terribly.

Amen.

Birkel said...

ARM committed an unforgivable act of global climate change by building a house where plants and animals lived.

Jamie said...

I think Yancey Ward wins this one.

Bill said...

I would expect a woman who lives on Hatchet Mountain Road to know how to defend herself.

AReasonableMan said...

Birkel said...
ARM committed an unforgivable act


The plants are doing fine. So are the bunnies. I like bunnies.

FullMoon said...

The dead raccoon was retrieved by Borch’s dad, who packed it into a Taste of the Wild dog food bag and handed it over to the Maine Warden Service.


Never miss opportunity to sell an ad.

DavidD said...

As I understand it, since raccoons are nocturnal, any you see one in the daytime are sick.

Big Mike said...

Rabid animals are very dangerous. Foxes, particularly so. And yes, animals dying of rabies are in extreme pain. A human being who starts to display the symptoms can no longer be cured and is a dead person. If you live near woods, as I did and do, then you need to watch out.

Gospace said...

I’m a vegetarian. It was self-defense... I always thought of raccoons as this cute, cuddly forest animal...."

Both being a vegetarian and thinking of wild animals as cute and cuddly come from an improper education.

Douglas said...

Rabies is, as I understand it, the most fatal disease known, killing very close to 100% of its victims. To put it into perspective, it's more fatal than ebola. Happily, the vaccine, if administered promptly after exposure, is almost 100% successful. I think what this young woman did took great courage and grit. Forget Wonder Woman - this young woman is a real role model.

rcocean said...

As a kid I read a book called "Rascal" about a cute raccoon - it was pretty good.

But the raccoons in my neighborhood aren't cute at all. They're surprisingly big, vicious bastards who'd kill my cat and eat her for breakfast - if they could catch her.

But I've only seen them near dawn and dusk - so I agree, if you see one in broad daylight there's something wrong.

Michael K said...

Rabies virus travels up the peripheral nerves, which gives it an evolutionary advantage, The slow progress, however, allows the vaccine to be given before the virus reaches the brain,

David said...

Thank you Michael K for that concise explanation.

As for the lady, I think she performed pretty well under the circumstance.

Mountain Maven said...

Definitely Plan C. A and B being run or shoot.
OTOH, she's now a folk hero.

Fernandinande said...

Our dogs killed a raccoon a couple of years ago, it was kinda gross.

James K said...
"It needed to die." A vegetarian meeting a rabid animal is like an atheist in a foxhole.


Yup, she killed it and survived.

Michael K said...
Rabies virus travels up the peripheral nerves, which gives it an evolutionary advantage,


The most interesting aspect of rabies is that it changes the behavior of its host in order to transmit itself to a new host.

Fernandinande said...

Speaking of raccoons, we watched "Where the Red Fern Grows" the other night, a corny 1974 movie about a boy and his coon hounds and the raccoons they hunt which turn into coonskins without being killed and then he wins a bunch of money and saves the family. The End.

Carter Wood said...

I'm a sucker for articles about raccoons in Germany. They were imported in the 1920s to be raised in fur farms, but you know how that goes. They're like nutria in Oregon.

Raccoon = Waschbaer = washing bear

Rabies = Tollwut = crazy rage

http://www.businessinsider.com/germany-europe-raccoon-problem-2016-6

Rusty said...

Nature is not cute. It is awesomely cold, unthinking and brutal. The minute you step out your door you are some critters prey.
Think about that and stay indoors.

AReasonableMan said...

Rusty said...
Nature is not cute.


Bunnies are cute.

TerriW said...

"Bunnies are cute."

*Hands over a copy of Watership Down*

AReasonableMan said...

TerriW said...
*Hands over a copy of Watership Down*


Not those bunnies, my bunnies.