Rachel Cohen never killed anything in her life, but the 61-year-old was forced to strangle a potentially rabid fox that attacked her and her friend in Pennsylvania, the Pocono Record reported Wednesday.
"I'm not a hunter," said Cohen, who was not bitten but received scratches in the incident. "All I was thinking was I wanted to protect myself and my friend."
Cohen, who lives in Stroudsburg, Pa., had stopped by the house of her friend Karen de Balbian Verster in Tannersville -- about 100 miles north of Philadelphia -- at Tuesday morning.
The two were set to take a walk and had just left the house when they heard a rattling noise and discovered that a red fox had its nose in a drainpipe attached to the house.
Once the fox noticed the two women, Cohen said, it moved away from the house and jumped out in front of them. Both women tried to run back to the house -- and in fact de Balbian Verster made it inside safely -- but the fox blocked Cohen's path before she could get back and started trying to bite her ankles, causing her to fall backward.
"When I fell, I saw a piece of my jeans in the fox's teeth. I knew that I had to do something."
Cohen said she then grabbed the fox by the neck, strangling it, and then hit it against a tree, but it still remained alive. De Balbian Verster then brought out a plastic bag, and Cohen wrapped it over animal's head and smothered it.
The whole ordeal lasted just 10 minutes.
Foxes are usually shy around humans, but this one may have had rabies, said Roger Spotts, an official at the Monroe County Environmental Education Center.
Cohen was taken to Pocono Medical Center but was released.
The fox will be tested for rabies and the results will be in Thursday. If results are positive, Cohen will need a series of shots, which will neutralize the disease. Although rabies can be deadly if not caught early, Cohen on Tuesday remained in good spirits.
"I want that fox's pelt," she said. "I think I deserve it."
Source: Pocono Record