By David Quinlan
Lakewood, WA (KCPQ) — A woman walking with her dog near Fort Steilacoom Park was attacked by a pack of raccoons that jumped on her, bit and scratched her and left her with about 100 wounds, including 16 puncture wounds, before her dog was able to drive the critters away.
Michaela Lee, 28, said Tuesday she had been jogging with her dog through the park and was walking toward her home when her dog broke free to chase a raccoon. The dog chased the coon up a tree. She then went to retrieve the dog.
“As soon as I went down to grab the leash, three other raccoons came out of the grass and charged straight at me,” Lee said. “Before I knew it, they were at my legs.”
Lee said she was able to run about 75 feet into a neighbor’s yard before the raccoons clawed and bit into her. The attack lasted seconds, but Lee said it felt like minutes.
“They were just between my legs, biting and scratching me,” she said. “This leg has scratches all the way up.”
She also had deep cuts and punctures on her arms.
Neighbor Michael Parks heard her screams and saw three large raccoons attacking her while she was on the ground. He called 911.
He said he believes the raccoons may have been trying to protect their young from an intruder. “I think Momma instinct kicked in and they just attacked,” Parks said.
But he also told the News Tribune of Tacoma that the raccoons “come around and couple of us in the neighborhood feed them.”
Lee said that thanks to her dog Madison, a six-year-old American dingo, the raccoons backed off on their attack and she was able to get to her feet and seek help.
Lee was transported to the emergency room and treated for about 100 wounds, including scratches, scrapes and puncture wounds. There were 16 puncture wounds. One of them required a staple to close. She also has to get rabies shots.
Lee said it will be a while before her and Madison go for a jog on the trails again, and she has purchased bear Mace to protect herself.
Meanwhile, Animal Control said that because this was an isolated incident, the agency will be only monitoring the raccoons and have no plans to trap them. A spokesman said it’s not a good idea for people to feed wild animals as they become less fearful of humans.