Seattle’s Summer of Animal Attacks

A closer look at an outbreak of animal-on-human clashes that took place in 2012.

By Matthew Halverson September 19, 2012 Published in the October 2012 issue of Seattle Met

If there’s any doubt that raccoons can be as nasty as they are cute, this should settle it: First there was the day in July when a 28-year-old Lakewood woman was jogging along, totally minding her business and working up an honest sweat, when a handful of raccoons sprang out of the bushes and straight up attacked her. (Okay, her dog may have provoked them. But still.) She ran, and they chased her to her house, knocked her down, and bit her until her dog ran them off. Then in August a gang of masked trash eaters started terrorizing students, dogs, and toddlers near North Seattle Community College. Gotta be the bath salts. 

Have you seen the seven-foot reticulated python that belongs to a homeless man who frequents Cowen Park in Roosevelt? No, really, have you seen it? Because it went missing in August, having apparently decided it was done sleeping on the street. And Seattle Animal Control decided not to pursue it because they had “dogs biting all over the city.” Not to worry. No matter how many small pets or children the snake consumes, local herpetologists say it won’t survive the winter.

Vacuuming the corner of a room is the worst. You can never get the vacuum all the way in there, but you keep trying to get that Cheerio that you’re too lazy to pick up, and then your boyfriend’s pet lynx surprise attacks you. Or at least that’s what happened last May to a 21-year-old Bellevue woman who was doing a little light cleaning when her man’s feline friend slipped out of its cage and leapt on her. She was okay, but come on. This is why we don’t keep wild cats as pets, kids.

Coyotes have been snatching cats out of West Seattle backyards for years, but when the wily canines graduated to attacking pooches last spring, local pet owners had finally had enough. (Confidential to West Seattle cats: Your people don’t care about you.) In June the West Seattle Blog confirmed that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services had dispatched an agent to the peninsula to assess the situation and potentially take down the pack, which is great, but then there won’t be anything to keep the cat population in check.

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