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Woman attacked by wild racoon
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A 75-year-old woman suffered bites from a raccoon believed to have rabies while she was out hiking Sunday afternoon.

The animal was later shot and killed by a citizen in the area, and has been sent off for testing.

Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford said that the call came in April 21 at 12:45 p.m. The area was at Wildcat Campground, off of Steve Tate Highway in the northwestern part of the county.

"She had been in the area hiking, and the raccoon apparently just came out, and basically charged her," Swafford said. The woman had minor bites to both legs, he said.

"Then a male subject came along, and the raccoon charged at him, but with no incident," Swafford continued.

When emergency services personnel reached the area, they could not locate the animal, but informed others at the scene of the apparently rabid raccoon. The woman received medical treatment, but was not transported to any nearby hospitals.

The raccoon was located and shot by a separate person in the area later that same day. Representatives from the Department of Natural Resources picked up the animal.

Director of Planning and Development David McKee said that his department advised DNR to send the animal to Environmental Health for testing. "Basically, they've got 10 days from the day (the victim) was bit before they have to determine whether to go on a series of shots," McKee explained.

He said that the test results could take up to a week to return. He also said there have been no other reports of rabid animals in the county.