News Department

Man attacked by raccoon in Hunterdon County

TEWKSBURY TOWNSHIP, NJ (Hunterdon County) – A man went to the hospital last week after being attacked by a raccoon in Tewksbury Township.

The attack happened on September 4, at around 7:05 p.m. at Christie Hoffman Farm Park.

According to police, the 79-year-old Tewksbury Township man was attacked by the raccoon while walking his dogs at Christie Hoffman Farm Park. He reported that the raccoon bit into his pant leg and would not let go.

He sustained scratches to his arm while fighting off the raccoon and went to a local hospital on his own to be treated for his injuries. Neither of his dogs were injured in the attack, police said.

The raccoon was killed and will be tested for rabies, police said.

Police received a second report of a person being chased by a raccoon just prior to the above attack and that person was not injured.

Since April of this year there have been three confirmed reports of rabies in the Tewksbury area; on April 21, a skunk tested positive for rabies near Fox Hill Road, on June 15, a raccoon tested positive just across the Township line into Califon at Guinea Hollow Road and Rt. 512, and on July 9, a raccoon tested positive on Farmersville Road near Sutton Road, police said.

Police urge people to use caution while walking in Christie Hoffman Farm Park.

Area residents who may have had contact with this raccoon any time should notify their Primary Care Physician immediately or the Hunterdon Medical Center Emergency Room to discuss concerns, re: possible exposure and the need for post exposure prophylaxis treatment.

It is important to remember not to pick up stray animals at any time. Saliva from infected animals should be considered infectious.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus. The virus is found in the saliva of a rabid animal and is transmitted by a bite, or possibly by saliva of an open cut or the eyes. The disease is transmitted from animals to human or from animals to other animals. Left untreated, humans can be protected by receiving rabies prophylaxis after exposure.

How can we protect ourselves from rabies?

  • Vaccinate your pets against rabies and keep vaccinations up-to-date
  • Do not feed or touch wild animals
  • Avoid contact with strays or pets other than your own

All owners of cats, dogs and livestock should have the vaccination against rabies through their veterinarian or through municipal rabies clinics. For a listing of upcoming free rabies clinics, visit the Hunterdon County Department of Health Info Line website.

For more information, contact the Hunterdon County Health Department at 908-788-1351. After hours and on weekends, call 908-788-1202. To reach the Tewksbury Township Animal Control Officer, Laura Roerig, call 908-537-7663.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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