Boy Pets Rabid Raccoon, Gets Bitten

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

The 15-year-old is now undergoing treatment for rabies exposure

Most of us know that petting a sick wild raccoon is a bad idea, but one 15-year-old had to learn that lesson the hard way. 

According to Fox13.com, Damien Ransom was skateboarding in the Providence neighborhood in Davenport, Florida, when he saw a raccoon on the road. He said the animal seemed disoriented so he decided to try to help it across the road. His friends even filmed the encounter with their phones. 

Ransom explained the footage to Fox13.com:

“That’s before I picked it up and I was rubbing its head to see if it was friendly and sure enough it was friendly about it,” Ransom said.

What Ransom didn't know is that the raccoon wasn't being friendly. It was rabid. 

“He bit me twice, let go, and bit me again,” Ransom said.

Ransom went home and told his grandma what happened. She took him to the hospital where he began treament for rabies exposure. The teen says he's learned his lesson.

Officials say Ransom and his grandma took the right steps by seeking immediate medical attention.

Polk County Sheriff's Office Animal Control officers responded after the rabid animal bit the boy. They sent the raccoon to the state laboratory in Tampa, where it was confirmed to have rabies.

It is the tenth case of rabies confirmed in Polk County this year.

Rabies is fatal if not treated before symptoms appear. 

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