This is the Craziest Thing I’ve Read in a While

Hold on, let’s just start here:

“HOPE, Maine — While jogging on a familiar, overgrown, wooded trail near her home on a recent warm afternoon, Rachel Borch thought to herself, “what a beautiful day.”

Little did she know she was about to be attacked by a rabid raccoon she would end up killing with her bare hands.”

That right there is perhaps the best lede you’ll read all year, if not for some time. It comes courtesy of Alex Acquisto, a writer for the Bangor Daily News, who yesterday wrote the harrowing tale of Rachel Borch, who valiantly fended off an attack from a rabid racoon in the woods near her home in Hope, Maine, downeast towards Camden, Maine. Now I know that there’s more important stories out there, news happening that truly merits our attention. But this story, this account of Borch’s survival, is something worth reading, which is more than I can say about a lot of things making the rounds today.

I don’t even want to paraphrase Acquisto’s story. It’s too good.

“In the midst of appreciating the weather and scenery, she looked ahead and noticed a raccoon obstructing the narrow foot path, baring its tiny teeth.

Suddenly, it began “bounding” toward her, Borch recalled Wednesday afternoon during an interview at her home on Hatchet Mountain Road in Hope.

“I knew instantly it had to be rabid,” said Borch, who remembers ripping out her headphones and dropping her phone on the ground.

What felt like a split second later, the furry animal was at her feet. Borch said she was “dancing around it,” trying to figure out what to do.

“Imagine the Tasmanian devil,” she said. “It was terrifying.”

It sounds terrifying. We have a non-rabid raccoon in our backyard right now and that little son of a biscuit makes me uncomfortable and we’ve mostly kept our distance from one another. I can’t imagine being confronted by a rabid raccoon.

If I was in a situation like the one Borch found herself in, I’d like to think I’d react in a similar way. Who the hell knows, though? Could I outrun the rabid raccoon? I don’t know, but I’d consider it. I’d also argue that headphones in the woods is never a good idea. I remember there was a girl killed outside of Philadelphia a few years ago because she was in the woods and was crushed by a falling tree, a tree she didn’t hear because she had headphones in. So let’s do this America. Let’s ban two things.


  1. Wearing headphones while walking in the woods
  2. ATM fees

I want to know how many f bombs Borch dropped when this was all going down, specifically when the rabid raccoon was latched onto her arm?

“The raccoon sank its teeth into Borch’s thumb and “wouldn’t let go.” Its paws were scratching her arms and legs wildly as Borch screamed and cried.

In a matter of seconds, Borch, who could not unhinge the raccoon’s jaw to shake it off her hand, noticed that when she had dropped her phone, it had fallen into a puddle in the path and was fully submerged.”

I would have at least hit 100 f bombs without even trying. 200 is a real possibility.

“Borch, then on her knees, dragged the still biting raccoon, which was scratching frantically at her hand and arms, into the puddle.

“With my thumb in its mouth, I just pushed its head down into the muck,” Borch said.

With the animal belly-up, she held its head under water. “It was still struggling and clawing at my arms. It wouldn’t let go of my thumb,” she said.”


“Borch said she held it there for what felt like an eternity until finally it stopped struggling and “its arms sort of of fell to the side, its chest still heaving really slowly.”

Hyperventilating and in hysterics, she pulled her thumb out of the raccoon’s mouth, “and then I just bolted as fast as I could through the underbrush,” she said.”

The underbrush??? I would have stayed far the eff away from anything with the word “under” or the word “brush” in it.

Hold on, this might be the best part:

Hope Animal Control Officer Heidi Blood confirmed Wednesday that the dead raccoon later tested positive for rabies by the Maine Center for Disease Control.

“Not to scare people,” Blood said, but “when there’s one [infected], there’s typically another.”

The Animal Control Officer’s name is Heidi Blood! That is just fantastic. Maine, you have outdone yourself once again. Oh an Officer Blood, I know you are trying “not to scare people” with your warning of other rabid raccoons lurking in the beautiful Maine woods, but you scared this guy and I might never go in the woods again.

And here I was, a little concerned about ticks this summer.

As for our girl Borch?

“I always thought of raccoons as this cute, cuddly forest animal,” she said. “I just will never look at them the same way.”






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