A deer seen foaming at the mouth assaulted a woman in East Huntingdon Township, Pennsylvania as she was about to enter a Sherwin Williams store on Tuesday. According to the Associated Press, Rachael McGough was preparing open the store, where she worked as a manager, when she saw the deer and stopped to take a picture. Not interested in posing, the deer charged McGough.
“Oh my God! This deer is going to kill me,” McGough told KDKA when asked what was running through her mind at the time.
She noticed that the deer had scabs all over its head and that it was foaming at the mouth.
“I had a couple of bags with me that I shoved at it trying to get away. One of the bags got looped around its neck, which allowed me to get a couple feet away,” McGough recalled.
Two men from a nearby fast food store saw the woman struggling with the deer and came to help, tackling the animal to the ground. The deer was tied up in preparation for the arrival of a conservation officer from the state Game Commission, but it expired before wildlife officials were able to retrieve it. Subsequent testing showed that the deer was indeed infected with rabies. The Game Commission advised those involved in the incident to consider being tested for rabies, a disease which usually does not exhibit symptoms until its later, fatal stages. Neither McGough or the two men who subdued the deer suffered major injuries in the scuffle, but KDKA reported that one of the men may have been scratched.
It is uncommon for deer to contract rabies, especially in comparison to animals such as raccoons, bats, and skunks. Deer with rabies may appear to be irritable and be prone to convulsions or frothing at the mouth. Deer with rabies lose their fear of humans and may even act aggressively, as was the case with the animal that attacked McGough.
You can see an interview with McGough below: