Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Aggressive Raccoon Chases Woman, Dogs during Attack in Downtown Vancouver

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Aggressive Raccoon Chases Woman, Dogs during Attack in Downtown Vancouver

Article excerpt

Raccoon attack in downtown Vancouver

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VANCOUVER - Blanca Blandon was asleep in her boyfriend's downtown Vancouver apartment when she was awakened by blood-curdling screams outside.

She ran out to the street to investigate the commotion, where she saw a large raccoon attacking a woman and her two small dogs.

"It went after the woman's dogs, trying to attack them, and it jumped up on the woman's leg, scratching her," Blandon, 21, recalled in an interview Thursday, a day after the late-night animal attack.

"She was sprinting and screaming. This raccoon was just psycho."

The unidentified woman was walking her dogs around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the city's Coal Harbour district, not far from Stanley Park, when she encountered the aggressive animal.

Raccoons are common in Vancouver, few places more so than in Stanley Park and the surrounding areas. However, conservation experts say attacks are rare, particularly cases in which the animal hasn't been provoked.

The woman's screams attracted the attention of onlookers, who attempted to scare off the animal by yelling at it and shooing it away. Witnesses said the raccoon chased the woman for several minutes before someone managed to scare it off.

"The bystanders, some of them were running behind the woman and yelling at the raccoon," said Blandon.

"Most people were just trying to make noise to scare it away."

The woman and at least one of her dogs sustained minor injuries, police said. She was taken to hospital for a tetanus shot.

Laura Skelton, 44, ran out into her fifth-floor balcony when she heard the screams.

"This woman, she was running in circles with this brown thing behind her, and I mean like 20 pounds of big brown thing -- I thought it was a dog," said Skelton.

"And I realized, oh my God, she's being attacked by this massive raccoon, and it was clawing at her and it was biting her dog."

Skelton said one of the onlookers shouted at the woman to pick up her dog, but that appeared to make matters worse. …

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