A wildly dramatic story coming out of Hope, Maine, begins on a peaceful jogging trail when Rachel Borch crossed paths with a rabid raccoon.
Rachel was jogging down the trail on a beautiful day, admiring the scenery around her, when she noticed a small, furry roadblock up ahead obstructing the narrow path and showing its teeth.
Before Borch could turn and go another way, it began “bounding” toward her, reports say.
“Imagine the Tasmanian devil,” she said. “It was terrifying.”
Borch remembers ripping out her headphones and dropping her phone on the ground as she tried to evade the devilish critter, but the path was too narrow for her to run past it. Now, with the raccoon at her feet and adrenaline pumping, Borch put her panic on hold.
“I knew it was going to bite me,” she said.
During a frantic wrestling match with the forest animal, Borch came to the conclusion she would ultimately have to defend herself, and decided her hands were the best place for it to latch on. The raccoon buried its teeth into Borch’s thumb, and continued thrashing about, scratching her arms and legs.
Suddenly, Borch noticed that when she dropped her phone, it landed in a puddle and was completely submerged.
With the raccoon still attached to her thumb, Borch shoved her hand and the raccoon under water until it went limp, and she was able to remove her thumb from its mouth.
In shock, Borch got to her feet and headed back to her house as quickly as she could knowing she would have to go to the hospital.
So far, Borch has received six shots, including the rabies vaccine, immunoglobulin and tetanus injections.
“If there hadn’t been water on the ground, I don’t know what I would have done,” Borch said about drowning the animal. “It really was just dumb luck. I’ve never killed and animal with my bare hands. I’m a vegetarian. It was self defense.”