A Maine woman was bitten by a rabid raccoon that latched onto her thumb and wouldn’t let go.
Terror-stricken, 21-year-old Rachel Borch screamed as the mad animal clawed and scratched her.
On her knees, she managed to drag herself to a puddle, where she submerged the raccoon and held it down until it stopped squirming.
“I didn’t think I could strangle it with my bare hands,” she told the Bangor Daily News. “With my thumb in its mouth, I just pushed its head down into the muck.”
Borch said she was attacked while out jogging on a narrow, wooded trail near her home in Hope, on the state’s central coast.
The raccoon was ahead of her on the track, and came “bounding” toward her. “I knew instantly it was rabid,” she said.
Suddenly, it was at her feet. “I knew it was going to bite me,” she said. Protectively, she put out her hands.
That’s when the raccoon launched itself at her and clamped down on her thumb.
“I don’t know how she had the presence of mind to take it and drown it in a puddle,” Hope Animal Control officer Heidi Blood told InsideEdition.com Thursday.
“It’s the craziest thing,” she said, laughing.
The young woman’s father collected the animal carcass and delivered it to the Maine Warden Service, Blood said. Tests concluded the raccoon was rabid.
Borch was sobbing as she freed her thumb and ran for home. She was terrified, she said.
“Oh, God, what if I just start foaming at the mouth and can’t find my way home,” she remembers thinking.
Her mother took her to a nearby hospital. She has received tetanus, antibiotic and rabies vaccine injections.
She has one more round of shots to go.
“If there hadn’t been water on the ground, I don’t know what I would have done,” she told the paper. “It was really just dumb luck.”