75-Year-Old Attacked by Rabid Raccoon Strangles It
Cas Overton knew she couldn't get away from it
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2015 3:24 PM CDT
A stock image of a raccoon.   (AP Photo/dpa, Sven Hoppe)

(Newser) – In 2012, a troop of Boy Scouts stoned a rabid beaver to death. Those upstate New York boys have nothing on Cas Overton, who strangled an attacking raccoon to death with her bare hands on Saturday afternoon. It's worth noting the Henrico County, Va., woman is 75 years old, and the raccoon was confirmed yesterday to have rabies. The attack occurred at the Richmond-area Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where the self-proclaimed "terrific animal lover" was bird-watching. Overton was surprised by the raccoon while studying birds in a tree; she believes it emerged from a bamboo thicket. After being unable to shake off the violent animal, which had "grabbed a hold of my pant leg and bit me at the same time," Overton literally took matters into her own hands.

"As I moved backward away from it, I grabbed its neck and I knew that I couldn’t get away from it," she tells the Times-Dispatch. "If I ran, it would be faster than I would and would just tear me to pieces. So I threw it to the ground and I strangled it—with both hands." Once the animal had stopped moving she made her way to find help, and was taken via ambulance to a hospital where she has started getting rabies shots. WWBT reports it's Henrico's first confirmed rabies case of the year; there were seven cases last year. (Meanwhile, a carpenter has lost his job because of a raccoon.)