Raccoon goes after woman, dogs
VANCOUVER—Blanca Blandon was asleep in her boyfriend’s downtown Vancouver apartment when she was awakened by blood-curdling screams outside.
She ran out to the street to investigate the commotion, where she saw a large raccoon attacking a woman and her two small dogs.
“She was sprinting and screaming. This raccoon was just psycho,” she added.
The unidentified woman was walking her dogs around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the city’s Coal Harbour district, not far from Stanley Park, when she encountered the aggressive animal.
Raccoons are common in Vancouver—few places more so than in Stanley Park and the surrounding areas.
However, conservation experts say attacks are rare, particularly cases in which the animal hasn’t been provoked.
The woman’s screams attracted the attention of onlookers, who tried to scare off the animal by yelling at it and shooing it away.
Witnesses said the raccoon chased the woman for several minutes before someone managed to scare it off.
“The bystanders, some of them were running behind the woman and yelling at the raccoon,” noted Blandon.
“Most people were just trying to make noise to scare it away.”
The woman and at least one of her dogs sustained minor injuries, police said. She was taken to hospital for a tetanus shot.
The province’s conservation officer service was looking into what happened.
Sara Dubois, of the B.C. SPCA, agreed raccoon attacks are rare. When they do occur, they usually involve members of the public trying to hand-feed the animals.
“This might be the only time I’ve heard of a physical attack that was so aggressive in my time working with the SPCA,” said Dubois.
“Often, a raccoon that was provoked, especially with a litter, it might show aggressive tendencies, but not actually make contact with people,” she noted.
“But this, an unprovoked attack like that, is very rare.”