Three children in Vermont had a frightening encounter with an aggressive raccoon while on a play date in the woods near their homes this past weekend, reports WCAX.
Irie Campbell, 11, was playing with her friend Piper Rolfe, 10, and Irie's 5-year-old brother, Felix, when the raccoon attacked Irie. Irie spoke with WCAX about the incident.
"So I put my hands up to my face like this. And then it grabs onto my thumb," Irie said. "I started to choke it with my left hand, and then it started to fall off and then it grabbed a hold of me right here. I started to choke it with both hands. Then it jumped up and got me on my hand, and now I have four stitches there."
The attack might have been worse were it not for Piper's bravery. Piper, who suffers from a degenerative visual disorder and is legally blind, began hitting the raccoon with a stick.
"I already had the stick. I don't really know what I was thinking. I just thought to try to get it off Irie," Piper told WCAX.
Felix said he wanted to help out, too. "When Piper was beating it with a stick, I was trying to find a big enough stick. There was this really big stick. But since it was really big, I was afraid to use it," Felix explained. "And then I screamed, 'Get away from my sister, raccoon!'"
The raccoon ran off, and Irie was treated for her injuries and received shots to combat a possible rabies infection. According to the Humane Society, a raccoon that attacks unprovoked might be more likely to be infected with a virus.
Irie's father, Derek Campbell, said he'd witnessed Piper's bravery in other situations. "Piper is a little hero. She is a cool kid. I mean Piper is a tough kid. She is one that will just, I mean she will barrel down any run at the ski mountain," he said.
Irie told WCAX that she was grateful Piper was there to help defend her. "She really helped out a lot," Irie said. "She's a good friend."