Sunday, July 22, 2012

Racoons Raise Flag of War

In previous installments of this record of the war on the US by its native wildlife, we have recorded enemy action by Eastern Gray Squirrels, River Otters, and the Canadian Beaver. Today, the Wildlife Rebellion (remember, you heard it here first), gained another member species, the Raccoon.
Michela Lee, with her (unbandaged) dog

Raccoons Attack Jogger, Sends Woman to Hospital
A Washington state woman suffered 16 puncture wounds and over 100 lacerations after being attacked by a pack of raccoons. Twenty-eight-year-old Michaela Lee was jogging on a trail near her Lakewood home when her dog spotted two raccoons and chased them up a tree.
Raccoons are a quintessentially American animal.  Native only to North America, they are originally inhabited our forests, and have expanded their range with the spread of civilization into many other habitats (indeed, for raccoons, one can regard human habitation as another, and likely quite favorable, habitat).  They have also become introduced to parts of  Europe and Asia.

Tough and intelligent, raccoons (commonly referred to as 'coons), have a reputation as urban scavengers extraordinaire, willing to break into buildings and vehicles for food.  They can be tamed into being pets, although they have a rather nasty smell, and a reputation for unreliability.
Another traitor to the human race
"I went over to pick up the leash and head home when three other raccoons just charged out of the grass straight for me. I decided to run, but they were chasing me and clawing at the back of my legs," Lee said.

She had just gotten to her neighbor's yard when she tripped over them. As soon as she fell, the raccoons began to viciously attack, biting her arms and legs as she lay trapped under them. Seconds later, Lee's dog ran up and began biting and growling at them, scaring several of them off and giving Lee enough time to get on her feet.

"I'm so thankful that my dog is so loyal," said Lee, who believes it was the actions of her dog, Madison, that saved her from further injury.
Raccoon Fur Loop
We're in a whole lot of trouble if the dogs ever desert us.  Coon hunts, involving dogs to run raccoons up trees at night, are a widespread American tradition.  Raccoon pelts have a modest value, and can be turned into hats or coats.  Raccoons are also edible, as I can personally attest to.  However, it doesn't hurt to be hungry.
Lee was immediately taken to the hospital where she said she was in shock. "There was so much blood everywhere you couldn't see the skin on my arms or legs." She received a rabies vaccine and had the deep cuts in her forearm and calf stapled. Antibiotics were injected into each wound, a process she said was even more painful than the attack.
So, do you want to see something really stupid?  Some girl duck taped a bunch of random food to her body, and laid out in the wild, to allow wild Raccoons to swarm her and eat the food:
Despite what the fashion industry says, manufacturing a suit of feral raccoons is not overly complicated. With a little dumpster diving, rotten food, duct tape, and careful planning, almost anyone can attract enough disease-ridden wild mammals to cover his or her person for hours at a time. It’s easy, fun, and presents only a slightly higher than average chance of contracting a terrible pathogenic infection!
 Apparently, raccoons hate broccoli, a sentiment I share with them.

Thanks to Wombat-Soccho, who picked this up in generic "Rule 5 Monday" this week at The Other McCain, and to the Classical Liberal, who scooped it up with "Debt Bomb" and other Rule 5 posts.

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