Raccoons wreak havoc in Austin

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Days after the Austin Police Department reported an influx of raccoons in the area, a rural, 3-year-old girl was bitten by one.

The Mower County Sheriff’s Department responded to the injury on Highway 218 south of Austin where the parents said their 3-year-old daughter walked onto a porch and was bitten Tuesday morning. The parents say the raccoon bit the girl’s left arm and left four small puncture wounds. They added the raccoon displayed odd behavior and looked lethargic. The girl was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin.

According to the sheriff’s report, the father killed the raccoon and took it to the Austin Veterinary Clinic, so its brain can be removed and sent for rabies testing.

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Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger days ago said the Austin Police Department has responded to about seven calls for raccoons in residential areas in the past week, which is much more often than normal.

Krueger said residents who see raccoons in town should watch for signs of sickness, such as salivating, being unafraid of people, wandering in the daytime and appearing intoxicated.

Krueger was unaware if any of the raccoons had actually been trapped and removed thus far within the city. Sheriff Terese Amazi said the raccoon bite is the first she has heard of this year.