Maine raccoon drowned by woman jogger in scary encounter

A woman's jog was cut short in a dramatic way when a raccoon attacked her, latching onto her skin and refusing to budge until she drowned the animal.

Rachel Borch, 21, detailed the recent roller-coaster experience in a colorful interview with the Bangor Daily News.

She said she was on a jog when she spotted the cute animal on the path. But all of sudden, the raccoon started “bounding” toward her on the narrow foot path, baring its teeth.

Borch said she “knew instantly it had to be rabid.”

So what next? She danced around it, trying to figure out what to do  -- before she dropped her phone.


“Imagine the Tasmanian devil,” she said, “it was terrifying.”

Borch saw the path was too narrow to run past it. By then, she says “I knew it was going to bite me.”

Borch figured she would have the greatest ability to defend herself if she used her hands to hold it down, the newspaper continued. But before she knew it, the raccoon sank its teeth into her thumb and “wouldn’t let go.”

In the frenzy, she noticed her phone had become fully submerged in the puddle where she had dropped it. Borch, unable to unhinge the raccoon from her finger, thought holding it underwater might help. “I didn’t think I could strangle [the raccoon] with my bare hands” she recalled, but she was willing to try.

Borch dropped to her knees and dragged the biting and frantically scratching raccoon into the puddle.

“With my thumb in its mouth, I just pushed its head down into the muck,” she said. “It was still struggling and clawing at my arms. It wouldn’t let go of my thumb.” Borch held the animal belly-up with its head underwater for what she said felt like an eternity until finally it stopped struggling and “its arms sort of fell to the side, its chest still heaving really slowly” according to the newspaper.

Once she was able to pull her thumb free, Borch says she “just bolted as fast as I could through the underbrush,” hyperventilating and in hysterics. She had to look back to make sure the raccoon wasn’t still chasing her.

“It felt like [Stephen King’s] ‘Pet Sematary,’” she recalled.

Once at home, her mother, immediately drove her to the hospital to get shots. It was revealed a few days later that the animal tested positive for rabies.


Borch reportedly is set to receive one more shot this coming weekend.

Click for more from the Bangor Daily News.