(ARLINGTON, Va.) — Raccoon attacks have spooked residents of Arlington, Virginia, who are concerned the animals could be rabid.
“It’s disturbing,” Sandra Alboum told ABC affiliate WJLA-TV in Arlington. “Out of the corner of my eye I saw a raccoon. He walked up to me quickly and as I’m stepping away from it … he starts mauling my ankle.”
Alboum had been playing on her porch with her 4-year-old daughter at the time of the attack.
After she was bitten she was taken to the hospital and received nine shots for rabies.
Another woman, who was pregnant, was also attacked in a separate incident. She was also treated for rabies.
However since the raccoons were not found and tested, animal control experts could not say if they had contracted rabies or another potentially dangerous disease.
“Innocent until proven guilty, we say,” Deputy Animal Control Officer Kimberly Corcoran told WJLA-TV of the possible rabid raccoons.
Although raccoons are the most frequently reported rabid wildlife species, Corcoran said descriptions of the animal did not suggest that it was sick.
“An animal that’s sick is an animal that’s staggering — you might see wounds on it,” Corcoran said. “It looks like it might have had too many cocktails.”
Corocran said it’s possible the animal had been fed by humans previously and was looking for another meal.
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