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Large, rabid raccoon captured, euthanized in Arlington after biting, scratching young child

Arlington officials say a raccoon they believe bit and scratched a young child on Fountain Road Wednesday afternoon has tested positive for rabies.

In a statement, Police Chief Julie Flaherty and Director of Health and Human Services Christine Bongiorno described the 4:15 p.m. incident involving a child under 5:

An on-scene investigation determined that the child was in the backyard of the family's home and was attacked by a large raccoon. The child's mother stopped the attack and was able to chase the animal away and called 911. The child suffered bites and scratches from the raccoon.

The child was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and is expected to be okay.

Officers searched the area and were unable to locate the raccoon in their initial search.

At approximately 5:40 p.m., officers located a raccoon that was acting lethargic that is believed to be the one that attacked the child in the area of nearby Buena Vista Road.

Additional officers responded to the area and the raccoon was humanely euthanized.

The animal's remains were sent to a state lab, which reported today it had tested positive for the potentially fatal virus.


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Say hey to Harambe, homie.

Voting closed 13

What a traumatic and painful experience. Good that they found the raccoon, but prophylactic treatment for rabies is no fun.

Voting closed 41

My family had a prolonged encounter with a rabid fox when I was a teen. I still remember how it just looked like a cute little fox, and then it would resume beating its head against the sliding glass door.

I feel bad for the kid (and their mom) -- but also for the raccoon. Not a good way to go.

Rabies is nasty.

Voting closed 23

Anything I hope isn’t true is debunked.

Voting closed 17

...it is 2020 after all.

Voting closed 10

Could have been worse, could have been coyote.

Voting closed 18

I'm curious - why would that be worse?

Voting closed 17

It might have tried to drag her from the scene?

Voting closed 12

Could have mauled or killed and eaten the kidlet.

Voting closed 11