Third grader OK today after raccoon attack

St. Johns County Animal Control Director Paul Studivant, reports to Historic City News that he expects little chance of capturing and identifying the actual raccoon that attacked a 9 year-old deaf student; bitten eight times by a raccoon yesterday evening in St. Augustine.

After leaving dance practice, the third grader, whose name is not being released, was headed back to her dormitory around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when her escort told authorities that the raccoon attacked.

The child was taken to Flagler Hospital for primary treatment, discharged last night, and, according to today’s reports from Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, doing fine. She suffered bite marks on her hands and toes.

The school has deployed cage-traps to capture any raccoons that may be in the area; they are monitored hourly and will remain set up overnight.

Studivant told reporters that raccoons are the top carriers of rabies in the state. Because of the aggressive nature of the animal toward the victim, Student says it “showed all signs” of having rabies.

Medical staff at the school clinic will monitor the student, who will receive ongoing treatment on campus.

Should any raccoons be captured in the traps, they will be euthanized without the expense of further testing, because, according to Animal Control, their experience shows that one in three raccoons will usually test positive for rabies.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer

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