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July 10, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Lakewood woman attacked by pack of raccoons and undergoing rabies treatment

Michaela Lee, comforts her dog, Madison, while recovering on her sofa from being attacked by raccoons on Monday. (The News Tribune, Lui Kit Wong)

The News Tribune

A woman was attacked by a pack of raccoons near Fort Steilacoom Park Monday afternoon, Lakewood police said.

Michaela Lee, 28, was walking home with her leashed dog after jogging through the park about 1:30 p.m., when the raccoons attacked, her boyfriend Shane Bennett said.

Her dog, Madison, chased two raccoons up a tree as Lee was leaving the park, said Lakewood police spokesman Chris Lawler. Lee went to get the dog when more raccoons came out of a bush and chased her.

She ran 75 feet before they knocked her down. A witness told police that six or seven raccoons chased her, and that three attacked her for about 15 seconds.

Lee had many scratches and was treated for about 16 puncture wounds, into which hospital staff members injected antibiotics. Wounds in her arm and leg needed staples amd she’s been started on a round of rabies vaccines, although she since has learned the disease is rare in raccoons in the area.

That means thousands of dollars in medical bills.

Animal control and medics responded to the scene.

Neighbor Michael Parks looked out his window when he heard screaming Monday and saw Lee on the ground at the edge of his lawn. He called 911 when he noticed she was wounded.

He said he believes the raccoons that attacked are the same ones that have been in the area since he moved there 17 years ago.

“They have babies and they grow up, ” Parks said. “There’s just kind of a continuous family of them.”

He said the animals are sometimes violent toward each other, but have never attacked humans to his knowledge.

“They just hang around here,” Parks said. “They come around and a couple of us in the neighborhood feed them.”

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: Fort Steilacoom Park, Lakewood, raccoons

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