Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Pack of Large Raccoons Viciously Attack WA Woman

Wild animals generally keep to themselves but a pack of raccoons attacked a woman in Washington on Monday during her afternoon run.

Michaela Lee was out jogging when her dog did what dogs do and chased a few raccoons up a tree. She went to retrieve the dog's leash to head for home. But when she got close, several more raccoons came at her from a nearby bush.

The raccoons chased her about 75 feet and then a few of them knocked her over. By the time her dog scared them off she had scrapes, scratches, and about 16 bite punctures all over her arms and legs, according to MSNBC.

Raccoons and other wild animals don't usually attack, but when they do it can be in part because some illegal activity has been taking place.

The raccoons have been in the neighborhood for years Lee's neighbor Michael Parks told The Seattle Times. Parks called 911 when he saw the animals attacking Lee and he also said that some of the neighbors feed the wild animals.

In most states and on federal land feeding wild animals is against the law. It's generally a misdemeanor offense that carries a fine if police catch someone feeding the animals.

It may seem like a heartless piece of legislation, but laws that prohibit feeding wild animals are actually good for the critters.

Giving food to raccoons and other wild creatures makes them bolder around humans and more aggressive in general, according to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Craig Bartlett.

Aggressive animals are a danger, especially to children and older adults. If they become a health hazard then law enforcement may have to trap them and remove them from the area. That can be bad for the animals and for the surrounding environment.

Michaela Lee was shaken by the incident but she said that she won't let the raccoon attack keep her from enjoying her neighborhood. This tough woman is planning ahead - she'll be carrying some bear mace next time she faces off against the raccoons.

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