Hero girl drowns rabid raccoon with bare hands

And now, to take you into the weekend, the story of Rachel Borch, a 21-year-old from Hope, Maine, who drowned a rabid raccoon with her bare hands after it attacked her while she was going for a jog.

HOPE, Maine — While jogging on a familiar, overgrown, wooded trail near her home on a recent warm afternoon, Rachel Borch thought to herself, “what a beautiful day.”

Little did she know she was about to be attacked by a rabid raccoon she would end up killing with her bare hands.

In the midst of appreciating the weather and scenery, she looked ahead and noticed a raccoon obstructing the narrow foot path, baring its tiny teeth.

Suddenly, it began “bounding” toward her, Borch recalled Wednesday afternoon during an interview at her home on Hatchet Mountain Road in Hope.

“I knew instantly it had to be rabid,” said Borch, who remembers ripping out her headphones and dropping her phone on the ground.

The raccoon eventually attached itself to her thumb, and Borch found that she couldn’t get the animal to release its grip. When she noticed that she had dropped her phone in a puddle, she realized she could drown the raccoon to free herself. So…she did.

“With my thumb in its mouth, I just pushed its head down into the muck,” Borch said.

With the animal belly-up, she held its head under water. “It was still struggling and clawing at my arms. It wouldn’t let go of my thumb,” she said.

Borch said she held it there for what felt like an eternity until finally it stopped struggling and “its arms sort of of fell to the side, its chest still heaving really slowly.”

Borch left the animal in the puddle, and ran back to her house and was taken to the hospital. The raccoon was eventually recovered and tested positive for rabies. Borch has undergone treatment and injections to prevent rabies, and will have her last preventative injections this weekend.

The best part of all of this? Borch is a vegetarian and doesn’t believe in killing animals. She likened the situation to something straight out of a Stephen King story. Understandably, she’s now a little bit nervous to go jogging in the woods again.

Naturally, the story went incredibly viral, and was covered in publications as diverse as Sports Illustrated to Cosmopolitan. The writer of the story, the Bangor Daily News‘ Alex Acquisto, was also praised for her write up of the attack.