Several years ago 44-year-old Russian Alexander Kirilow was drinking heavily with friends, saw a raccoon, and decided he’d “have some fun.”
When Kirilow tried to make sexy time with the animal, it responded by biting off part of his penis.
Doctors were unable to reattach what was bit off, but did believe that function would return to what was left.
This is the exception that proves the rules that raccoons are normally not dangerous to humans. There have however been a large number of cases of raccoon attacks on pets.
One such happened recently to Kevin Rose, the co-creator of Digg, who quite ably defended his dog Toaster.
While Rose's actions were effective, the best way to stop a raccoon attack is before the raccoon ever attacks, as detailed by the Washington State website.
If a raccoon ever approaches too closely, make yourself appear larger: stand up if sitting, shout, and wave your arms. If necessary, throw stones or send the raccoon off with a dousing of water from a hose or bucket.
If a raccoon continues to act aggressively or strangely (circling, staggering as if drunk or disoriented, or shows unnatural tameness) it may be sick or injured. In such a case, call your town's animal control officer.
If aggressive raccoons are routinely seen in your area, prepare your children for a possible encounter. Explain the reasons why raccoons live there (habitat, food sources, species adaptability) and what they should do if one approaches them. By shouting a set phrase such as “Go away raccoon!” when they encounter one, instead of a general scream, children will inform nearby adults of the raccoon’s presence. Demonstrate and rehearse encounter behavior with the children.
If a raccoon finds its way into your house, stay calm, close surrounding interior doors, leave the room, and let the animal find its way back out through the open door, window, or pet door. If necessary, gently use a broom to corral the raccoon outside. (Do not corner a raccoon, thereby forcing it to defend itself.)
As noted above, the best way to deal with raccoon conflicts is to avoid them:
Don’t feed raccoons.
Don’t give raccoons access to garbage.
Feed dogs and cats indoors and keep them in at night.
Prevent raccoons from entering pet doors.
Put food in secure compost containers and clean up barbecue areas.
Eliminate access to denning sites, like chimneys, attics, and spaces under houses, porches, and sheds as den sites. Close any potential entries with ¼-inch mesh hardware cloth, boards, or metal flashing. Make all connections flush and secure to keep mice, rats, and other mammals out. Make sure you don’t trap an animal inside when you seal off a potential entry.
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