Infant's nose and lips bitten off
October 16, 2002 6:17 PM   Subscribe

Infant's nose and lips bitten off by a wild raccoon that was illegally kept as a family pet. Luckily, surgeons were able to re-attach them. "Doctors at the Iowa Clinic say wild animal bites are 100% preventable if parents don't allow the animals to rome freely in a home." Duh. Who's fault is this, if anybody's?
posted by Kevin Sanders (26 comments total)
*smacks head*

I'm sorry, the news story is here.
posted by Kevin Sanders at 6:20 PM on October 16, 2002

I say keep all animals out of Rome. It's getting to be a real mess.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:21 PM on October 16, 2002

I blame the raccoon.
posted by rushmc at 6:24 PM on October 16, 2002

Any reasonable adult should know 2-month old babies and pet raccoons don't mix . . . bloody rabies
posted by culpable at 6:27 PM on October 16, 2002

It's the kid's fault. Everybody knows that you don't taunt a raccoon.
posted by RylandDotNet at 6:35 PM on October 16, 2002

Why does shit like that always come out of Iowa. I live there. We're really not like that. Every state has its share of nutjobs. It's just people only print articles about the Iowan nutjobs with pet raccoons biting childrens faces off. I think its a serious misrepresentation!
posted by jojomnky at 6:57 PM on October 16, 2002

Jojomnky, I live in Des Moines.
posted by Kevin Sanders at 7:06 PM on October 16, 2002

I blame the surgeons. They should have rearranged the baby's face, because that'd be hilarious.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:08 PM on October 16, 2002

"bitten off ... reattach them". Pardon the reality check, but like the raccoon neatly snipped nose and lips off, and left them lying around intact ready to be sewn back on? The second link you gave sounds more accurate: presumably it chewed everything up and ate some, and reconstructive surgery was required on what was left.
posted by raygirvan at 7:14 PM on October 16, 2002

Kevin Sanders, I live in Des Moines. And for what it's worth, jojomnky does too. I had no idea there was such a fanbase here! Three people in Des Moines with the internet!

posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 7:14 PM on October 16, 2002

Whatever you do, please don't blame PETA because animals never do anything wrong, but people, of course, do.
posted by jtm at 7:18 PM on October 16, 2002

At a friend's birthday party, I saw a dog jump up and take part of a guy's lip off. I was standing three feet away. The owner said he'd never bitten anybody before. It didn't chew any of it up, but dropped it on the ground without a hint of aggression. In fact, he was almost immediately apologetic in demeanor. No one saw it coming, either. Weird. It makes you leery about putting your face close to any animal. Now that I think about it, I saw a dog bite a little kid on the cheek in the same manner. Only the kid pulled the dog's tail that time. I was born and raised in Davenport, IA, for those interested.
posted by David Dark at 7:29 PM on October 16, 2002

I was born and raised in Davenport, IA, for those interested.

Oh, please, do tell!

but not here [/derail]

Actually, I used to work in a small ER, and our food fridge had a label on it ... NOT FOR AMPUTATED PARTS! FOOD ONLY! ... to which of course I added, but amputated parts are food ... for raccoons!
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:35 PM on October 16, 2002

The owner said he'd never bitten anybody before.

I almost got the wrong meaning there.
posted by murmur at 7:44 PM on October 16, 2002

...animals never do anything wrong, but people, of course, do.

Please. Did you read the article? This isn't a matter of an animal doing something "wrong", it's a matter of a wild animal being a wild animal. If any blame should be assigned it should be to the idiot parents who thought keeping a wild animal as a pet in a house with children was in any way a good idea. The raccoon had already bitten the children more than once. This was not a pet for a house with children, as would have been crystal clear to the parents had they done even the smallest amount of research (beyond Disney movies), or had they paid any attention to what the animal's behaviour was telling them. The parents are at fault here. Even home-raised, well-trained, properly socialised animals of domesticated species and young children are not a good combination, and this was a wild animal. What did they expect? A responsible pet owner doesn't leave their pets (of any species) and children alone together, especially when the children are clearly too young to be able to learn how to behave around animals. Raccoons do not generally make good roaming-around-the-house pets, especially in houses with children, and especially when they've only lived with people for four months (people who clearly had no idea about how to properly keep an animal like a raccoon) and weren't responsibly hand-raised or born of tame parents. It's up to parents to maintain their childrens' safety, and these parents failed miserably. Save your PETA-related vitriol for cases where it's warranted, you don't have to be an animal rights radical to see that this was just what happens when stupid people do stupid things.
posted by biscotti at 8:34 PM on October 16, 2002

Heh, biscotti, here's somthing to ponder:

If the parents are too dumb to notice the obvious signs of a distressed animal, will they be able to notice the various signs their kids give them?

This might be a good time to tell those parents they need some professional childrearing help.
posted by shepd at 8:52 PM on October 16, 2002

I wouldn't trust a racoon further than I could toss it by it's (luxurious) tail.
posted by troutfishing at 9:00 PM on October 16, 2002

A responsible pet owner doesn't leave their pets (of any species) and children alone together

(1) Fishies
(2) Sea Monkeys
(3) Other aquariumized or terrariumized pets kept HIIIGH out of the wee darling's reach
(4) Rocks
(5) Imaginary pets of any sort
(6) Giant cartoon dragons
(7) Mecha-Streisand or other undead
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:13 PM on October 16, 2002

Around here people who should know better feed bears and coyotes, so it's not an Iowa thing. Of course, we don't let bears wander through our houses....cause that would get really messy.
posted by Salmonberry at 10:34 PM on October 16, 2002

I blame myself in this case.
posted by internook at 2:19 AM on October 17, 2002

what kind of wild raccoon allows itself to be captured by children and taken home, and live with that family for four months? wild raccoons are mean little critters.

my family had pet raccoons while I was growing up. nice ones make great pets.

and for the record, I too blame internook.
posted by tolkhan at 6:21 AM on October 17, 2002

and i don't live in Iowa.
posted by tolkhan at 6:22 AM on October 17, 2002

If I was keeping a wild raccoon and it bit my child's nose off then I would have to blame my fifth grade teacher becuase she read us the novel, errrr....Brandy or Randy or Bandit or Smokey or something? about a kid and his pet raccoon.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:54 AM on October 17, 2002

"what kind of wild raccoon allows itself to be captured by children and taken home"

I just spent 2 months dealing with a wild racoon that was determined to live in my house. It would pry open screens, hide in the upstairs storage area and come down at night to eat out of the cat food bowl & wash up in my toilet. I'd chase it out, seal up the entrance & it would turn around and find another way in. Once I finally got all the entrances sealed, it still came around for a while, peering in the kitchen and bedroom windows as if to say "Let me in!"

If it had been a little more affectionate & had learned to use the litter box, I might have let it stay.
posted by tdismukes at 9:44 AM on October 17, 2002

What's really disturbing is that the mother was sleeping 10 feet away from the baby when this happened...and didn't even wake up. Another relative had to come into the room and rescue the baby. WTF!!

Aside from the fact that she left a 2-month old baby sleeping alone and unprotected on a couch (big no-no) how could she have slept through that? Was she stoned/drunk and passed out? Did she just decide that she wasn't going to get up and she was going to "just let him cry himself out"?

And she had her 13-month old child sleeping with her. Do the math. Everything about this screams "irresponsibe, negligent person who shouldn't, if there was any justice, ever be allowed to have kids again."

That may sound harsh, but have you ever worked in a group home with kids who were abused and neglected? I have. You cannot imagine the damage these poor kids suffer. It makes me sick to think of it.

And as for the raccoon...who in their right mind would try to keep one as a pet? Yeah, they're cute but they are mean, vicious animals when confronted or provoked. And they don't back down from a fight at all.In my neighborhood, they've been known to kill cats. Completely disembowel them (shudder).
posted by echolalia67 at 10:02 AM on October 17, 2002

tdismukes, raccoons want a nice warm house with plenty of food too. it's the American Dream, and they're clever little relentless beasties. if it doesn't find a house to share, it may come back to yours…

but, i was wondering about how the children caught this wild raccoon and how they transported it home. i can't imagine a wild raccoon being all that friendly for four months.
posted by tolkhan at 9:56 AM on October 18, 2002

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