Raccoon bites student in parking garage

Jessie Barnes, senior history major, suffered a rare daytime attack from a raccoon on Wednesday, Feb. 13, when opening the trunk of his car on the second level of Lot 6 as the normally nocturnal critter sank its teeth into his ankle.

Barnes said the animal ran out from under a nearby car around noon while he and his girlfriend were standing in the parking lot.

“As I was opening my trunk the raccoon ran out from underneath a nearby parked car, jumped on my leg, and started to bite me in the left ankle,” he said. “I was able to kick the raccoon off my leg and it ran under my car.”

Barnes said he immediately drove to a hospital in Trenton while his girlfriend called Campus Police. He was treated for rabies and will return to the hospital three more times within the next month for rabies shots.

Ewing Animal Control and Campus Police were unable to locate the animal and check if it had rabies.

A campus-wide e-mail was sent out on Thursday warning students to exercise every precaution and encouraging them to call Campus Police immediately if the raccoon was seen again.

According to Ewing Animal Control officer Maryann Weltch, the raccoon could be living in the garage or it could have been looking for food.

She said mating season has started and it is a possibility that the raccoon could have been protecting its babies.

She said raccoons are scared of humans and advised students not to approach any animals.

“Be very careful,” she said. “Keep walking away.”

According to the campus-wide e-mail, “Members of the campus community are urged to exercise every precaution. It is advisable to move away and not approach any wild animal on campus.”