A “suspect” rabid raccoon has been captured Wednesday, after a 75-year-old woman was attacked in Springfield, Virginia, according to Animal Control officers.
The raccoon was seen “vocalizing and walking in a wobbly manner” near Monarch Oak Lane and Oak Hollow Lane around 6:45 p.m., Wednesday, Animal Control said. The raccoon was slow moving, but suddenly rushed at an officer who was able to capture it without injury.
The raccoon tested positive for rabies.
Authorities cannot confirm that this raccoon was the same raccoon who attacked the 75-year-old woman earlier on Wednesday, although they feel there is a strong likelihood that it is the same one.
The woman was walking on a path near the South Run Rec Center near the overpass of Lee Chapel Road when she stopped to take a photograph of the raccoon, police said. The raccoon charged at her, biting her legs, hands and forearms, police said. She was transported to the hospital for treatment.
All trails near the South Run Rec Center are now open for public use.
Another rabid raccoon attacked another person a day earlier in Springfield. A man was attacked while tending his garden on Kings Park Drive, police said. The raccoon approached him from behind and viciously bit him, inflicting a laceration about a foot in length. The man has been treated and is taking the proper medications.
Animal Control had to shoot the raccoon after it charged at an officer, police said. The raccoon tested positive for rabies.
Thursday in Falls Church, police euthanized a rabid raccoon after an encounter with two dogs. The dogs are getting treatment.
In 2015, there have been 21 positive rabies animal cases in Fairfax County after 50 cases in 2014, according to Animal Control officers.
For raccoon information and safety tips, you can click here. It is important to never approach a wild animal or try to feed it. If you do get bitten by an animal you think may have rabies, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and use an antiseptic. Then seek medical attention as soon as possible.