Rachel Borch was out for a jog in the woods near her home in Hope, Maine, when a "ferocious-looking" attacker with beady eyes and tiny teeth made a beeline for her, reports the Camden Herald. Borch, 21, knew immediately that something was wrong with the raccoon that was charging toward her. "Imagine the Tasmanian devil," she tells the Bangor Daily News of the "terrifying" June 3 incident. Yanking out her headphones, she began "dancing" around the animal on the narrow path, but she tells the Herald she knew that, one way or another, the animal was going to bite her. She figured her hands would be the best spot, so she offered them up. The raccoon chomped down on her thumb and stayed there, scratching at her legs and arms as she screamed.
Now on her knees, she spotted her phone lying submerged in a mud puddle, and had an idea: drown it. "With my thumb in its mouth, I just pushed its head down into the muck," she tells the News. When the raccoon finally stopped moving, she yanked out her finger and raced the three-quarters of a mile home. Two days later, the state confirmed the animal was infected with rabies. Borch got rabies shots, and an animal control officer adds an unpleasant footnote: The infected raccoon may not be alone. "Not to scare people," Heidi Blood tells the News, but "when there’s one, there’s typically another." (Normally nocturnal like raccoons, a crazed beaver attacked a woman paddle-boarder.)