Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When Raccoons Attack!

Raccoon Closeup


Raccoons attacking dogs and humans?!  WTF!!!  The animals are taking OVER!!!  [Insert *nervous snicker* here].  This story about raccoon attacks gave me the willies:


Alameda, CA — Rachel Campos de Ivanov was walking her dog last Sunday night when she saw two eyes glowing in the darkness. Her border terrier barked furiously. The eyes came closer, and she discerned a masked furry critter.

She turned away and her pursuer, a raccoon, charged. Then four other raccoons dropped from the trees and joined the chase.

"I was running as fast as I could and screaming at the top of my lungs, 'Help! Help! Help!' " said the East Bay resident. "I ran about a third of a block, then tripped and fell on the ground."

Dougie, her 20-pound dog, fended off four of the snarling animals, but the fifth latched onto the woman's leg and bit her.

Campos de Ivanov, 33, is the ninth raccoon attack victim since June in Alameda, a small, bustling city of tree-lined streets, Victorian-style houses, waterfront cafes, shopping malls and beaches. An island, Alameda is linked to Oakland by short bridges and two underwatertunnels.

Locked in by the bay, the raccoons "don't have enough territory, so they are acting aggressively toward anything out there that looks like a predator," said Daniel Wilson, community relations coordinator for the Alameda County Vector Control Services District. Alameda has more than 70,000 people on about 10.8 square miles of land.

"It's a public safety problem," Wilson said. "You should be able to walk the streets at night with a dog and not worry about being molested by a raccoon."

Campos de Ivanov is now receiving a series of painful shots to protect her from rabies, though it is unlikely that her attacker carried the disease. Rabid raccoons are rampant on the East Coast, but the disease is rare among raccoons in the West. Bats and skunks are the prime carriers here, officials said.

"The problem is there is more wildlife in the cities than in the country because there is more food here," said David Gould, a vector control officer who has worked in Alameda for 20 years. He said all of the attacks involved people with dogs, and the dogs probably incited the raccoons.

"Raccoons are ornery," Gould said. "They bite the heads off baby chicks."

He said the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been consulted, and there is talk of trying to trap the animals. But vector control officials say it is not likely to do much good.

Officials may place a trap in the city park where the raccoons that chased Campos de Ivanov were living — "just as a P.R. gesture," Gould said. "It's the humans that need to stop leaving out food."

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39 comments:

Brandi said...

HAHAHAHA (I know I shouldn't find this funny but I can't help it)!! Thankfully I survived my childhood in Alameda without getting attacked :)

bananas. said...

i believe it! one time at cancer camp (it really was cancer camp, for kids with cancer and i was a counselor), my co-counselor was walking back to the cabin with her boyfriend...their only light source was her mag light. anyway they came across a couple rabbit racoons who came at them. her boyfriend tried to protect them with her mag light and ended up bashing her head instead. she looked like carrie when blood started gushing down her face! HAHAHA!!! true story!!!

bananas. said...

rabbid*

Dancing Branflake said...

HAHA! I love how cute they are in these photos! And I always thought Alameda was kind of ghetto. And that girl needs to learn how to run farther.

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

I hate raccoon's- tons of them in Toronto!

Christiejolu said...

I heard about this...Crazy...

Jude said...

Eek! One of my hiking spots started posting notices on rabid raccoons...the thought of being chased by these critters (esp. if foaming at the mouth) gives me the heebie-jeebies!

Isabel said...

OMG. so scary!

WendyB said...

MrB was just telling me about a time in his old house when a raccoon came down the chimney, was surprised to see MrB and left the same way he came. That made me think of rabies, which in turn made me think of this story, which made me laugh my ass off again: http://wendybrandes.com/blog/2008/11/foxy-lady/

Big Red said...

Dude! That is craziness! And I used to think raccoons were so cute. Not gonna try to photograph them anytime soon.

L.A. Daze said...

I HATE raccoons. We had those little fuckers at Pepperdine, and when I would walk back to my dorm at night, they'd start shaking the tree branches and hissing at me. I always laughed when one of those suckers got run over.

Annie said...

how scary!!! glad all i've seen roaming around here lately is turkeys! ha!

georgia~gigi said...

OMG, I am pretty sure I would of totally freaked out! That poor lady, is she in therapy now? Damn critters!

thelayeredpancake said...

wow! i once heard a story about a crazy squirrel, biting people. can you even imagine that?
but i still love raccoons. i mean look at those completely bonkers faces. adorable.

Katie said...

I'm kinda scared of raccoons ever since I lived in a townhouse and had one stalk my garbage can. This isn't helping lol.

Heff said...

Little Bastards !!!

Trixie said...

"You should be able to walk the streets at night with a dog and not worry about being molested by a raccoon." YOU SHOULD DAMMIT!!

LOL! I don't know why this makes me laugh hysterically! It would be absolutely terrifying to be chased by a herd of raccoons but it's hilarious at the same time

Trixie said...

Also, WTF is up with blaming the dogs! HUMPH! Always blaming the victims

LOL. Sorry still laughing

Melanie's Randomness said...

Damn lil buggars.

Brooke said...

This is quite embarrassing, but when I was a teenager, I went outside to get some firewood. As I was picking up a few logs, a raccoon came after me. I dropped the wood and started running. I ended up doing a full, screaming lap around my house before I felt like I had enough distance to safely stop and try to open a door. Shit was intense. Hahaha.

E said...

Raccoons are super aggressive and FAST! I watched one chase a cat once and I didn't think the cat was going to make it. I guess it did because I saw it a few days later. The end.

十十f十 said...

i wonder if it's really a case of more food attracting them into the cities or that cities have infringed on their habitat. i hear the latter version more often, and most likely coming from animal lovers.

i was once chased by a small dog. for no bloody reason. maybe he/she smelt my fear for dogs. i used to be quite afraid of dogs, i dunno why. i was told my uncle fed us dog meat before, when we're children (w/o us knowing, of course) and then i heard people say dogs know it when they come across dog meat eaters. i'm no longer afraid of dogs and i can't explain why. i actually like big dogs. they're like gentle giants to me. toy dogs seem so... noisy and spoilt! :P

Kitty Stampede said...

wowza. that would be scary as shit.
too bad they are so cute. i find they are anyways. i would run like the dickens if they came after me too...bahahaha...i said dickens.

Georgina Dollface said...

The raccoons around here are pretty nasty. Most people know that when they see one, its best to give it a wide berth. One night long ago there were 4 raccoons in the bushes outside my window making the most horrible sounds at each other. Howling, hissing, moaning, it was like they were conducting an exorcism out there. It freaked me out like you wouldn't believe. - G

Christina In Wonderland said...

The raccoons where I live are generally harmless. I mean, occasionally they fight the stray cats over garbage dominance, but, mostly, they're just cute and cuddly and keep to themselves. Unless, you know, they're rabid...

diane said...

Meh, we have much bigger problems here. The girls at work aren't allowed to carry the trash out anymore because of the bears. Good luck outrunning a few of those.
And just for fun, we've got coyotes. I saw a raccoon in my yard once, but he probably got eaten.

vint junky said...

um...we have some disgruntled squirrels out back, but don't s'pose that counts...
and they look like such little cute fellas

Kristine said...

Raccoons basically rule in Toronto. They have no fear. As much as they are pests I can't help but find them adorable. I was chased by an irate black swan once, now that was scary.

Haute World said...

I always thought racoons were cute, but I know they can be nasty buggers (not from experience thankfully). Can't they just catch them and export them to China? People there eat them... I've seen it in the markets...

Marsi @ The Cottage Cheese said...

Scary stuff! I know they are Trouble (with a capital T), but those little bandits are adorable. They are tenacious little thieves though. We've been on backpacking trips where they've literally swarmed around us trying to sneakily steal our food.

P.S. Thanks for your sweet words about my pup. He's doing better, and hopefully won't end up needing surgery. I should know in a few weeks if his leg that was injured the worst is healing on its' own.

P.P.S. Thanks for your tip about linking to my blog url on my profile. I thought I already had, but I'm a tech dummy so who knows if it was working. I edited/re-typed the link, so hopefully it works now. Helpful tips are always appreciated :-)

Adiya said...

This is straight out of a Stephen King novel!! :o

They look soo cute in this last picture. Awwww. Ok, i better stop!

the eternal list said...

raccoons>clowns

Alisa said...

Good to know, I will now avoid Alameda!

SabinePsynopsis said...

Phew, I'm so glad we don't have these vicious animals here. The bumbling badgers seem rather harmless... (but then, WHO KNOWS?!?!?)

tulpen said...

"They bite the head off baby chicks"

Go Coons!!!

We had one living in our barn in Vermont. He'd sit on our porch eating the cat's food.

Then he got into my husband's tackle box and ate a rubber worm. And died.

Lorena said...

I think this is SO SAD, I am guessing they have nowhere to live and feel attacked-
I am on the racoon's side. Bite em.

Pretty Little World said...

I love that the beginning of this story reads like some crazy B horror flick, where they've substituted a cute little animal for the monster!

Raccoons look cute, but I would absolutely freak out if even one started chasing me!

krista said...

freaking. me. out.

toemailer said...

We have tons of them in Montreal and have never heard a bad story about them beyond making a mess of the garbage somewhere.