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Archive for Thursday, June 11, 1998

LAWRENCE RESIDENT BITTEN BY RACCOON

June 11, 1998

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Animal control officers put a trap under the chimney in the hopes of catching the raccoon, which was as ``big as a dog,'' Weng said.

Hai Feng Weng learned a nature lesson the hard way: never mess with a raccoon's baby.

Weng heard the wailing of a baby raccoon in his fireplace earlier this week, and opened a nearby door in hopes its mother would retrieve its offspring. More than half an hour later, the baby was still making noises and the mother was nowhere to be seen.

``I got worried, so I took a wastebasket, put the baby in there and let it go outside the door,'' said Weng, who was in for a surprise as he turned around.

``The mother was sneaking behind me,'' said Weng, who was bitten by the raccoon on his left calf.

Weng, 24, lives in the 3000 block of Oxford Circle, northwest of 15th and Crestline Drive. He is undergoing rabies treatment, which involves a series of shots. The bite didn't require stitches.

Animal control officers put a trap under the chimney in the hopes of catching the raccoon, which was as ``big as a dog,'' Weng said. An animal has to be captured before veterinarians can determine whether it has rabies.

``It's better to be safe than sorry,'' Weng said about the shots, which are given in his arm.

Weng said he believes the raccoons were nesting in his chimney, and the nest became loose because of recent rains. He had heard noises in the chimney before, but thought they were birds.

``It was huge. I've never seen a raccoon that big before,'' he said. ``I don't know, maybe it was pregnant.''

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is ckoger@ljworld.com.

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