Friday, October 9, 2009

Pack of raccoons mauls 74-year-old Florida woman

Pack of raccoons mauls 74-year-old Florida woman

(Note: Although not often considered as such, raccoons and other smaller wildlife are, indeed, wild, and under certain circumstances, can and do defend themselves. Many dogs have learned the hard way that tangling with a raccoon in or near water will find the raccoon on the dog's head, and the dog usually drowns. Other luckier canines 'only' have wounds to show for their experience. Groundhogs, opossums, skunks, etc., can also be tough customers for the unwary who venture too close. Porcupines aren't the only ones that are 'not nice to be near!')

October 5, 2009

No author provided at originating website address / URL.

The Associated Press / The Columbus Dispatch 34 South Third Street

Columbus, Ohio 43215 and

614-461-5000 Fax: 614-461-8793 To submit a Letter to the Editor: (200-word limit)

Lakeland, Florida - Animal control officers hope to trap a pack of raccoons that mauled a 74-year-old Florida woman who tried to chase them from her yard.

The sheriff in Polk County, east of Tampa, says Gretchen Whitted fell when five raccoons surrounded and attacked her Sunday. She was taken to a hospital with extensive cuts from her neck to her legs.

"We're not talking about a lot of little bites here," Sheriff Grady Judd said. "She was filleted."

A neighbor called for help after hearing the woman's cries and seeing her covered in blood.

Whitted was treated for rabies, though officials doubt the animals were infected.

Fire crews flooded nearby drains to drive the animals out, but none appeared. Animal control officers hope to catch them using cat food and sardines as bait.

Copyright 2009, Columbus Dispatch.

Comments (currently 34 posted) (some are real gems!):

~~~~~ Update on this story ~~~~~

Woman attacked by raccoons out of hospital

October 9, 2009

No author provided at originating website address / URL

The Ledger

P.O. Box 408

Lakeland, Florida 33802


Fax: 863-802-7826 and and

To submit a Letter to the Editor: (300-word limit)

Photo of Gretchen Whitted:

Lakeland, Florida - A Lakeland woman who was attacked by raccoons October 3 has been released from Lakeland Regional Medical Center and is resting at home, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.

Gretchen Whitted, 74, was attacked about 5:30 p.m. Saturday at her South Lakeland home. Five raccoons bit Whitted's neck, chest, legs, head and back when she tried to shoo them away from her front porch and fell.

Animal Control officers trapped an opossum, a cat and one raccoon Monday. Two more raccoons were caught in the neighborhood Wednesday.

Wildlife experts speculated the attack was spurred by a mother raccoon that was defending her offspring. Whitted was given a rabies vaccine as a precaution.

Copyright 2009, The Ledger.