HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
June 25, 2007, Herald Journal

Animals on the rampage

By IVAN RACONTEUR

The news wire has recently resembled a screenplay for a bad TV movie about animals turning on humans and taking over the world.

It began June 14 with a story about an “aggressive squirrel” that attacked three people in the southern German Town of Passau.

The squirrel ran into a house, pounced on a 70-year-old woman, and bit her on the hand.

The woman ran shrieking into the street with the squirrel still clamped securely on her hand.

The woman eventually managed to shake the squirrel off, and it moved on to find its next victim.

The squirrel, which apparently had developed a taste for human blood, then entered a construction site and jumped on a construction worker.

The rampaging rodent bit him on the hand and arm before he was able to fight it off with a stick.

The marauding squirrel continued its reign of terror, stalking into the garden of a 72-year-old man.

The squirrel bit the man on his hand, arms, and thigh, but the squirrel’s luck soon ran out.

The man killed the creature with his crutch.

The next day, a report came through about a fox who attacked some children in Hudson, N.H.

Two of Pamela Berube’s children were playing in a music teacher’s backyard while a third child was taking a flute lesson.

Berube was inside the house when she heard a scream.

She ran outside and found a fox chasing her terrified children around the yard.

She sprang to their defense, kicked the fox away from one child, and then struck it with a toy baseball bat.

The sly fox did not relent, and Berube continued to chase it, trying to keep it away from her children.

The fox bit her on the arm, causing a wound that required stitches, but she was eventually able to grab it by the neck and pin it to the ground until police arrived to dispatch the animal.

Rabies tests came back positive.

In Rapid City, S.D., police were called in by convenience store employees who were being terrorized by a masked intruder who happened to be a raccoon.

When police arrived, the raccoon attacked them.

The store was plunged into turmoil as the animal led the police on a merry chase, knocking items off of shelves as it went.

Events heated up, as the boys in blue alternated between chasing the ring-tailed rascal, and dodging when it turned and attacked them.

Eventually, the coon found the door and made its escape.

In Florida, a 62-year-old man was dragging the trash cans back to his house when he saw a large cat.

Upon closer inspection, he realized it wasn’t an ordinary house cat, it was a bobcat.

The cat attacked the man, and they were soon locked in a life-or-death battle.

The ferocious feline pounced on the man and scratched and bit him repeatedly.

The man tried to defend himself by choking the bobcat, and was eventually successful.

The cat, like the fox, was found to have rabies.

It this trend continues, we may need to rethink our strategy for self-defense.

We apparently need to expand our list of potential threats to include vicious rodents and other creatures that we previously ignored.

The next time we are out strolling down the street or through a neighborhood park and see a cute little chipmunk or a fluffy squirrel, we would do well to be on our guard.

It might just be plotting an attack.