Last night I returned home late. It was dark and when I pulled into the driveway I noticed two little eyes shining underneath the van parked in front of the garage. After I parked, I began calling “here kitty kitty” as my neighbors cat is often a nighttime visitor. The kitty did not come out as it usually did so I bent down to look under the van to make sure that it was not injured. The animal under the van began to hiss at me in a way that it had never done before. I quickly jumped up and it was then that a rather large raccoon came bounding out towards me. Not knowing if the raccoon had rabies, or what the animal would do; I quickly made a run for the front door. I shutter to think of enduring the painful shots that I would have been subjected to had that raccoon gotten his claws or teeth into me!
Rabid raccoons have been a troublesome pest in New York and New Jersey as well as other parts of the United States. In January of this year, the New York City Health Department reported that there were 23 rabid raccoon sightings, mostly in the Central Park area. This is a spike in numbers from the four rabid raccoons reported in Manhattan for all of 2009. Unfortunately, in the Bronx and Staten Island, rabid raccoon sightings are a fairly common occurrence for homeowners.
Please check back on Thursday for the conclusion.