Cumberland Times-News

July 8, 2013

Boy attacked by possible rabid raccoon in W.Va.

Elaine Blaisdell
Cumberland Times-News

— LEVELS, W.Va. — Mason Kidwell, 6, of Levels was playing in a tent in the yard of his home when what was most likely a rabid raccoon entered the tent and wrapped its paws around his leg. 

Fortunately, Mason was able to fend off the raccoon by kicking it, according to his father, Travis Kidwell.

Mason then proceeded to jump over the raccoon before running into the house.

“I’m very thankful that Mason is OK. I’m shocked that something like this happened in the driveway,” said Travis, who is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. “I have seen animals with rabies, but nothing has ever came after us. I never dreamed of this happening.”

Once in the house, Travis washed Mason and proceeded to take him to the emergency room.

Mason wasn’t bitten or scratched by the raccoon but will most likely receive a post-exposure anti-rabies vaccine, according to Travis.

“I think he will be leary of playing outside, but time will heal and hopefully he won’t be afraid to go outside,” said Travis.

Travis stressed the importance of educating kids about rabies.

“Mason has never heard of rabies but he knows that wild animals weren’t supposed to come around people,” said Travis. “He (Mason) said, ‘Wild animals are supposed to be scared of people.’ ”

It’s also important to note that nocturnal animals like raccoons shouldn’t be seen during the day, according to Travis.

“Coons shouldn’t be out during the day and if you see them you should call animal control,” cautioned Travis.

After the raccoon left the tent it proceeded to walk toward the family’s dog and was then shot and killed by Travis.

Travis removed the head of the racoon and took it to the Hampshire County Health Department, which is awaiting the results of rabies testing.

Information on rabies can be found on the Hampshire County Health Department website at

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at