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Raccoon nips woman at Starved Rock

A raccoon broke the skin of a woman trying to give it water at about 3 p.m. Tuesday, on the veranda at Starved Rock State Park. Utica medics were called, but the woman declined to go to a hospital, according to Conservation Police Sgt. Phil Wire.

"She didn't know if she was bit or scratched, but she admitted it was her fault," Wire said.

The raccoon was caught and taken to Chessie Lane Animal Hospital in Ottawa, where it was put down in order to be tested for rabies.

Wire noted that in the past few years, there have been more raccoons with distemper at the park. He said he believes people trap raccoons elsewhere, then release them at the park. A permit is needed to legally trap the animals, but it is illegal to let them go at a park.

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