Falmouth police are urging residents to exercise caution around wildlife acting unusually after a woman was bitten by a rabid raccoon on Veterans Day.

The 44-year-old woman, whom officers declined to name, was walking her dog in the Woodlands Country Club trail system around 10 a.m. on Nov. 11 when they encountered a raccoon. She tried to shoo the animal away, but instead it bit her twice on the legs, drawing blood.

The raccoon also bit the dog.

Falmouth police Officer Steve Hamilton later trapped the raccoon, which tested positive for rabies. The woman received rabies shots and is doing fine, as far as police know, Sgt. Michael Brown said Saturday.

Brown warned the public to avoid wildlife that exhibit strange behavior, which includes approaching humans rather than fleeing.

“Don’t sit there and tell it to go away, because it’s not going to,” he said. “If it’s coming at you, a person, that’s not normal.”

Falmouth police are asking the public to report any aggressive wild animals. The department recently fielded calls about foxes along Route 1, but officers haven’t captured any foxes yet – and the animals haven’t bitten anyone – so they don’t know whether the foxes have rabies.

Sixty-eight animals have tested positive for rabies in Maine this year after being captured and sent to state wildlife authorities. Raccoons and gray foxes were the most common species, at 21 each.

City leaders in Bath this summer concluded a $26,000 trapping program that caught 28 animals – 24 raccoons and four skunks – none of which had rabies. The two-week program followed a spate of fox attacks on people and pets – 18 in one year – but ultimately didn’t trap any foxes.

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