MSNBC: Raccoons attack Washington state woman


MSNBC: Raccoons attack Washington state woman By LIZA JAVIER and DREW MIKKELSEN
Beware of getting too close to a mother raccoon and her young.
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A Lakewood, Wash. woman was chased and mauled by several raccoons near Fort Steilacoom Park, south of Seattle, Monday, leaving her with about 100 scratches, punctures and bite wounds.
Around 1:30 p.m. Monday, Michaela Lee, 28, was jogging with her dog near her home at the edge of the park when her dog got loose and started chasing some raccoons. Turns out, the raccoons included a mama raccoon and her babies, said Lt. Chris Lawler with Lakewood Police.
Her dog chased the raccoons up a tree. When Lee went to fetch her dog, more raccoons came out of the brush and began chasing her. Lee took off running with at least five raccoons chasing after her.
“I felt like they were hunting me, ‘taking me down’ pack mentality. There were five of them,” said Lee.
She made it about 75 feet to a neighbor’s yard where she was knocked down to the ground and mauled by the raccoons.
A witness said he saw three really big raccoons attacking Lee while she was on the ground and he yelled for help. Lee’s dog, Madison, also helped scare off the raccoons. The attack lasted about 15 to 20 seconds before she was able to get away.
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Lee was transported by ambulance to a hospital. She ended up with about 100 wounds, consisting of scratches, scrapes and puncture wounds. About 16 to 18 were puncture or bite wounds.
“It’s kind of surreal,” said Lee. “The kind of thing you’d see in a movie.”
Lee is worried about the next person who might get attacked.
“We have elderly neighbors who walk their dogs through here. People bring their little kids. What would they do?” said Lee.
While Lee is not afraid of heading back into the woods, she does say she will be better prepared for the raccoons.
“I’ll have some bear mace with me,” she said.
Lakewood Police said there haven’t been any other reported problems with raccoons in the park or in the city. An Animal Control spokesman said he believes this was a case of a mother raccoon trying to protect her young and not an unprovoked attack.
Animal Control adds it is rare for raccoons to carry rabies and they are more of a threat to dogs with canine distemper than anything else.


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