'What Was He Going to Do? Eat Her? Kill Her?'

Family says raccoon attacked 4-month-old baby in their home
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2017 12:20 PM CST
Family Says Raccoon Attacked Baby in Home
Stock image   (Getty Images/leiz_ca)

Samuel Black tells WTXF he "thought it was a nightmare" when he heard what happened to his 4-month-old daughter earlier this week in Philadelphia. Family says little Journi was in bed at their first-floor apartment Wednesday night when she was attacked by a raccoon, leaving her hospitalized and facing a year of recovery, CBS Philly reports. Journi's mother, Ashley Rodgers, says she heard noises when she was in the bathroom, went to check on Journi in bed, and saw a raccoon running away. "I hear her screaming and crying," Rodgers tells WPVI. "By the time I got to her, she was off the bed across the room on the floor with blood all over her face." Journi's uncle was in disbelief: "A raccoon dragging an innocent baby off a bed onto the floor. What was he going to do? Eat her? Kill her?"

Images of Journi's injuries show claw marks to her face and forehead, a wound near her eye, and more. Rodgers says she needed 64 stitches and a rabies shot. It's unclear how the raccoon got into the apartment, but neighbors complain of a raccoon infestation in the area due to trash. The family is considering legal action against their landlord, who the city says may be renting out rooms illegally. “It is his responsibility," Black tells CBS. "There’s no reason an animal should have gotten into the house with minors." He adds: “It’s just ridiculous. My daughter could have lost her life.” The family had only been in the apartment for a week when the attack happened. Animal control officers set a trap for the raccoon in case it comes back. (More raccoons stories.)

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