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Neighbors, around 1:30 today, Animal Control caught the raccoon that was behaving aggressively toward people and dogs this morning on the blocks between Danforth and Chestnut and Boylston and Paul Gore. Below are pictures of the raccoon. Click on the images to see full size versions.

According to the Animal Control Officers, the raccoon will be euthanized (poor guy), and tested (they test brain cells) for Rabies. One of the officers said they were not convinced it had Rabies as it was merely acting aggressively and did not exhibit tell-tale "drunken" behavior including stumbling around, walking in circles, and acting confused. One officer said it may have just gotten spooked or provoked.

In my earlier post, I stated, 1 person and two dogs had been bitten, I have not been able to confirm this information factually. Correction 3:10 pm 9/19 it one person was bitten).

According to one person I spoke to, she was chased by the raccoon after going outside to see about the noise her dog had been making. She could not tell wether her dog had been bitten. Her dogs shots were up to date and he'll be getting a booster tomorrow.

I asked the Animal Control officers whether or not it could have infected other raccoon ( if it was itself infected) and the officer said the other raccoon(s) would not exhibit this behavior for three to six months.The test results will be ready later this week, I'll try to track them down and post them here.

If you want to learn more about Rabid raccoons see here on the CDC's website. You can see a map of confirmed Rabid raccoon cases here.

If you see what you think is a Rabid raccoon, get away, and please call 911 and always respect and keep your distance from wild animals.

Below are two videos of rabid raccoons to help you identify and distinguish between healthy and deceased ones.


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Comment by Joseph Porcelli (Chief Neighbor) on September 20, 2010 at 10:05pm
Derrick, welcome to NFN! Thanks for the first hand account.

Comment by Derrick Ingram on September 20, 2010 at 9:36pm
First of all, thank you for this site. I just discovered it when I "googled" information about our raccoon incident yesterday. We were one of the households directly affected. I have to say that I am sad to hear it will be euthanized because we are lovers of all animals. But, having spent several hours dealing with this particular animal yesterday, and having grown up in the "sticks", not to mention living in this particular neighborhood and seeing its furry denizens for several years, I feel pretty comfortable in saying there was definitely something very wrong with this particular raccoon. Oh, and I believe we were the last residents to see it mere minutes before it was captured, and I can say with certainty that its foot was not bleeding at that time. It cornered my dog (a rather large but docile lab) in our yard and charged at my husband on its first "visit". About a half hour later, it was scratching at our back door and would not leave no matter what we did or how much noise we made, until the Animal Control officers showed up. We were in communication (the old fashioned way, hollering deck to deck and yard to yard) with several neighbors who also encountered it and were told that it chased several dogs of various sizes (NOT the other way around) AND charged at and chased people, trying to bite at least on person (fortunately, it only got a pant leg and did not break any skin.) The third time it showed up in our yard, while it was not demonstrating those classic "drunk" characteristics from the videos, it was definitely acting aggressively again. The AC and Police officers showed up and, after a chase from our yard and across a few others, caught it in a neighbor's yard. I cannot say for certain exactly what the motivation was, but I can tell you that we have had raccoons in and around this neighborhood as long as we have lived here (6 years) and also in our prior JP neighborhood, and we have never seen one act like this. I, for one, am glad it was caught. I'm sorry it will be euthanized, but there really did seem to be something very wrong with this poor little thing. Just thought people might like to hear the story from someone who was there.
Comment by Andrew Joslin on September 20, 2010 at 2:04pm
Looking at the photos of the captured raccoon it's clear that there is a bleeding front foot injury. Don't know whether that happened when animal control captured it or whether it was bitten by a dog. If the injury was pre-existing (to the incident) it could explain the aggressive behavior, ie: it was defensive behavior.
Comment by Andrew Joslin on September 20, 2010 at 2:00pm
I had a raccoon in my yard many days earlier this summer who was walking around in the daytime and acting fairly feeble and unafraid of people. I had several people ring my doorbell to tell me a sick raccoon was in my yard. It turned out it was a mother nursing 3 kits and she was worn out by her domestic labors combined with hot weather. Later in the summer she took the grown babies out the nest and weaned them, she regained her energy and looked and behaved like a normal raccoon. Point being all strangely acting wildlife can't be assumed to be sick.
Comment by Chris Helms on September 20, 2010 at 11:27am
Maybe two years ago a raccoon family lived a triple-decker on Woodlawn before the building was renovated. I could see them from my back porch some nights.
Comment by Diane Edgecomb on September 19, 2010 at 11:35pm
Perhaps the raccoon was trying to protect its young.
Comment by Terrell Gibbs on September 19, 2010 at 11:06pm
If the raccoon had been in a confrontation with a dog, it may have been frightened rather than rabid. I've seen quite a few raccoons in the neighborhood over the years. They normally avoid people and do not cause problems, although a raccoon is not an animal that you want to get into a dispute with.

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