It was a terrifying moment for a Connecticut family: a raccoon seemingly came out of nowhere and latched on to a child’s leg while she was standing outside her home.
As FOX 61 reports, the outcome could have been a lot worse had her mother’s instincts not kicked in. Video shows the little girl repeatedly trying to kick the raccoon off her leg before her mom steps in to help seconds later.
Immediately, the mom is seen ripping the raccoon off her daughter’s leg.
"Go inside, go inside baby!" the mother screamed.
From there, the mom had to fight the animal off of her own arm while warning others nearby to stay away.
"It’s a rabid raccoon. Get in the house," she said.
After a brief struggle, she was able to throw the raccoon off her arm. The raccoon ran away.
Geoff Krukar, a wildlife biologist for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, told FOX 61 that the raccoon appears to be sick — and the mother did the right thing.
"The mother behaved in a way that was very heroic. I think she and she did everything, everything correctly. By avoiding getting bit, warning the neighbor to stay back and and getting the child to safety," Krukar said.
Krukar said there are some things to look for in potentially rabid raccoons. Although they are nocturnal creatures, seeing them raccoons during the day doesn’t always mean they have rabies.
"[If] they see a raccoon that's acting abnormally that could be frothing at the mouth, pursuing them, getting in close proximity, they should definitely report that to the authorities," Krukar said.
Local animal control officials said the raccoon went into the woods and hasn’t yet been captured.