NYC
07/08/2010 09:31 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Central Park Raccoon Attack Leaves Woman With Bite

Pickpockets aren't the only pests New Yorkers have to worry about in Central Park.

Rabid raccoons are also giving visitors quite a scare.

A Daily Intel reader, who goes by Elly, tells her tale of being gnawed on by one of the park's semi-wild creatures.

I live on the Upper East Side. I was doing a little shopping on the Upper West Side and when I was done, decided to walk back through the park. But it was so gorgeous out, I stopped to enjoy it and read my book. So I'm sitting on a bench right on the 72nd Street Transverse, near the Mall and Bethesda Fountain. I was sitting there maybe 30 minutes ... and suddenly I felt something around my feet, and a sharp pang in my left ankle. I think I felt the presence of something first, because I remember thinking maybe it was a leaf or something, but then I felt the bite. My first thought was: Someone's dog. I looked down at my ankle and it was dripping blood.

Elly called an ambulance and was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital where she received the first of four rounds of rabies shots. The pain from the injury and subsequent treatment forced Elly to call in sick to work.

"That was the most interesting 'I'm not coming to work today' call to a boss I've ever had to make," Elly wrote.

The city launched a two-month program in February to "trap, tag and vaccinate the Central Park raccoons."