Rabies is “the most deadly virus on the planet”
Young siblings were out in their backyard when a raccoon found a way through the fence — and started to chase them, WXYZ reported.
The raccoon first grabbed a hold of 6-year-old Abigail McClusky while she was picking her mom flowers for Mother’s Day, her mom Kelly told McClatchy.
“After it got Abigail, that’s when she started screaming and the rest of the kids started running,” Kelly McClusky wrote in a Facebook message.
Home surveillance video obtained by WXYZ shows the raccoon running after the children as they scurried away last week.
“It was like a bear was running after me,” Abigail said in an interview recorded by WXYZ.
In addition to attacking Abigail, the raccoon also attacked her 8-year-old brother, WJBK reported.
“ ... my daughter’s screaming and crying — her leg’s bleeding,” father Patrick McClusky said, according to WJBK. ”The raccoon is on the steps, trying to chase them in the house. It ripped my son’s pants.”
Abigail’s knee was pierced and scraped by the raccoon, photos obtained by WXYZ show.
Kelly McClusky posted about the attack in the “Clinton Township Michigan Resident’s Group” on Facebook.
“We just got back from the hospital where (Abigail) had to have her first series of rabies shots,” McClusky wrote.
Her parents are angry and upset.
That’s because this raccoon wasn’t just a wild critter that wandered into their yard.
It was a pet raccoon named Bandit, WJBK reported.
Security cameras recorded as Bandit found a way through the bottom of the fence and into the backyard, Kelly McClusky said on Facebook.
And when responding officers arrived to their home following the attack, the neighbors came outside and claimed the raccoon as theirs, she said.
“ ... everyone knew it was a pet but us, and our little girl is the one who got hurt and five shots tonight, more in a week and more in another week,” Kelly McClusky wrote on May 8.
“He didn’t act like a pet he acted like he had rabies,” she continued. “And Dr at the hospital said raccoons don’t go to the vet to get vaccinated they are wild so if it ever got out, (which it did) it could have rabies. Now (Abigail) will be staying home to make sure she isn’t in the percent that gets a fever or has a reaction to the vaccine.”
Just before 10 p.m. on the day of the attack, she said police hadn’t caught the raccoon yet and that Bandit was in the tree watching her sliding door. She included a photo of the raccoon in the tree, along with the hashtag, “#LilStalker.”
About an hour later, she commented with an update: “The pesky trouble maker is now in a live trap. I have a call into DNR he should be out of the area by tomorrow.”
“The McClusky family says they caught the animal using nets, a cage, and some dog food in their backyard and (turned) it over to animal control,” WXYZ reported. That was captured on video, too.
The animal was quarantined at first, WJBK reported, and animal officers said they would be euthanizing the raccoon and conducting tests.
Two days after the attack, Kelly McClusky updated her post with “Great news!!!”
“Lansing tests came back. Raccoon was negative for Rabies- Abigail does NOT have to have the last three series of shots,” she wrote. “They do not know why it had such eradic behavior, but stressed Abigail should be safe now! Thank you for all the prayers and positive vibes!”
Joel Bandrow confirmed to WJBK that Bandit was his pet.
“I love my raccoon and I don’t want nothing to happen to it,” Bandrow said before his pet was euthanized, according to the TV station. “ ... he sleeps with the grandbabies when they come over. He’s a pet. I will cough up a loogie and he will eat it from my mouth. I’m his mother.”
Bandit’s owners — Joel and Linda — said they were upset their pet was euthanized, WKYZ reported.
Patrick McClusky said he didn’t want “a little raccoon to die,” but that his children’s lives are “more important than some wild animal.”
“I forgive the raccoon because it’s one of God’s animals,” Abigail said in the recorded interview with WXYZ.