Raccoons Can Behave Aggressively Toward Humans Even When They Are Not Infected With Rabies

While raccoons may prefer to nest within certain structures on residential properties, such as in sheds, garages and beneath decks, the nocturnal animals make every effort to avoid being spotted by nearby humans. This is why raccoons are rarely brazen enough to invade a home where their presence would become immediately noticed by a home’s occupants. Of course, raccoons sometimes manage to secure warm shelter within attics and storage spaces, but raccoons are relatively intelligent creatures, and they know that residents rarely venture into such locations. Despite this, on rare occasions, a raccoon, or several, will invade a home in clear view of the occupants. In these cases, the invading raccoon may be infected with rabies, as this infection negatively affects neurological functioning, causing raccoons to behave boldly, aggressively and in a manner that runs contrary to their instinct for self-preservation. Sadly, back in December of 2017, an aggressive raccoon invaded an inhabited home before brutally attacking a baby. Luckily, the child lived, but the raccoon was never caught.

While this unexpected incident is certainly tragic, the baby’s parents were not at fault, as they were unaware that a raccoon had invited itself into their home. Surprisingly, some people willingly bring wild raccoons into their home in order to adopt one as a misguided gesture of compassion. For example, during the spring of 2014, a two-week year old baby boy was attacked by one of the two raccoons that his mother had adopted and left alone in her son’s room. It did not take long before the baby began to scream. Upon entering her son’s room, she found the raccoon thrashing at her son’s face, drawing blood and leaving serious wounds. Happily, the boy fully recovered, but officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife cited the mother for housing two raccoons without a license. In addition, police had also considered charging the mother with child endangerment as a result of the incident. The two raccoons were euthanized immediately within the home before they were sent to a lab for disease testing. It turned out that neither raccoon had contracted rabies or any other disease, proving that being infected with rabies is not a precondition for a raccoon to aggressively attack humans. This is why residents should always avoid meddling with raccoons no matter the circumstance; instead, a wildlife removal service can safely remove problem wildlife from properties.

Have you ever found a raccoon within your attack or garage?

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