BERLIN -- It was like any other Friday morning for Herbert Speer of Berlin, and then, out of nowhere, a rabid raccoon attacked him.
"I heard this God-awful scream," recounts Herbert. "By the time I got to the garage door to see what was going on, it came from underneath the truck and nailed me."
Berlin Animal Control said the raccoon was found on Stocking Brook Road in Kensington. It's not clear how it acquired rabies, but the animal was euthanized and sent to a lab for further testing.
"This raccoon was very angry, it had the mad look in its face," said Officer Kate Murdock of Berlin Animal Control. "It'd bitten him twice, not once, but twice, so I'd say it was pretty serious."
Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system in many mammals, wild or domesticated, and can be transmitted by an animal bite. If untreated, it is fatal.
As for Herbert, he says he's going to be a little more cautious these days. "One thing I've learned: I'm not going to leave my garage door open."
The Central Connecticut Heath District listed the following signs of possible rabies infection:
- shyness of a normally friendly pet
- fearlessness (of humans) in wild animals
- uncharacteristic excitability, aggressiveness, or restlessness
- sudden mood changes
- excessive drooling
- abnormal activity during the time of day the animal is usually inactive
- eating substances that are not normally eaten
The health district said that if you are bitten by a wild animal you should get medical attention immediately. Early symptoms often resemble the flu, and rabies in humans is 100 percent preventable with treatment.
For more info on rabies, go to the CDC website here.