A Maine woman fought off and killed a rabid raccoon with her bare hands in the middle of what started out as a pleasant trail run near her home, according to the Bangor Daily News.
Per their report, 21-year-old Rachel Borch saw the raccoon blocking her path. When it began to bare its teeth, she “instantly knew” it had to be rabid. She dropped her phone and prepared to defend herself as it charged.
“Imagine the Tasmanian devil,” she told the paper, which covers a large portion of rural Maine. “It was terrifying.”
The raccoon “sank its teeth” into her thumb and was scratching wildly at her arms. On her knees she dragged the animal—still attached to her thumb—to a puddle where she had dropped her phone.
“With my thumb in its mouth, I just pushed its head down into the muck,” Borch says. “… It felt like ‘Pet Sematary.’”
Once the animal stopped struggling, Borch freed herself and ran home where her mother drove her to Pen Bay Medical Center. Her father retrieved the dead raccoon where Hope Animal Control confirmed it had tested positive for rabies.
Borch is receiving the necessary shots and medical treatment required for someone bitten by a rabid animal.
“If there hadn’t been water on the ground, I don’t know what I would have done,” Borch says. “It really was just dumb luck. I’ve never killed an animal with my bare hands. I’m a vegetarian. It was self-defense.”