Raccoon Incident at the Farm:
On Thursday March 17th 2016 a raccoon bit a young child who was visiting Wright-Locke Farm. The child has received medical attention and is recovering well. The raccoon was killed immediately following the incident and tests showed that the animal was infected with rabies. As a result the child is receiving treatment to prevent rabies transmission. Everyone at the Farm is thankful for the wonderful medical care that the child is receiving and grateful to know the child is expected to recover completely.
What did the Farm do?
At the time of the incident, a volunteer was raking next to the Farmhouse and notified farm staff in the Farm Office. Archie McIntyre, the Farm’s Executive Director immediately called 911. Both Archie and Rebekah Carter, our Education Director, tracked and trapped the raccoon until Winchester Police and Winchester Animal Control arrived on site and shot the animal. Animal control submitted the raccoon to the State for testing. We learned over the weekend that the raccoon tested positive for rabies. Since the incident, the Farm hired Servicemaster to clean up any blood or residue and has followed up with Winchester Animal Control to insure that proper protocols are being followed. The Farm has temporarily restricted access to the goats pending further discussions with State health authorities. While we believe the raccoon was passing through and did not live at the Farm, we are inspecting any potential nesting areas to insure that there are no raccoons living on the Farm.
Where did the raccoon come from? Are there others?
A neighbor on Johnson Road has reported to us that this particular raccoon may have been seen in her neighborhood, which is fairly close to the Farm. We have not seen other raccoons at the Farm. We have been checking under all the building foundations, but we have not found any nests or dens.
Is it safe for families and dogs to visit the Farm?
We will be keeping a close eye out for any other stray raccoons or wild animals. We believe the Farm is a safe place to visit. Like any natural place in the outdoors, even in our backyards, wild animals can appear. Parental supervision is always advised when children are visiting the farm. Also, please keep your dog on a leash when walking at the Farm.
Raccoon behavior and what should I do if I see one?
Raccoons are nocturnal animals that are rarely seen during the day. Daytime activity by a raccoon can be a strong indication that the raccoon may be sick, especially if it is walking erratically. If you see this, its best to contact the police or local animal control officer. In Winchester, it’s best to contact the Winchester Police at 781-729-1212. In Arlington, contact the Arlington Police at 781-643-1212. In Lexington, contact the Lexington Police at 781-862-0500.
What is Rabies and how can I learn more?
Attached is a link to a Massachusetts web site providing more information about rabies:
What if I have further questions
Feel free to call Archie McIntyre, Executive Director of Wright-Locke Farm if you have any questions about this recent incident.