Arlington officials say a North American raccoon bear they believe a bit and tested positive for rabies from a small child on Fountain Road on Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement, Police Chief Julie Flaherty and Director of Health and Human Services Christine Bongiyorno described the incident involving a child under the age of 5 at 4:15 p.m.
An on-site investigation determined the child was in the backyard of the family home and was attacked by a large North American raccoon. The baby’s mother stopped the attack and was able to chase the animal and call 911. The baby was bitten and scratched by a North American raccoon.
The baby was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and is expected to recover.
Officers searched the area and were unable to locate the North American raccoon in their initial search.
At approximately 40:40 a.m., authorities discovered a North American raccoon bear behaving sluggishly that is believed to have attacked the baby in the area of nearby Buena Vista Road.
Additional officials responded to the area and the North American raccoon was humanized.
The animal’s remains were sent to a state lab, which today learned that it had tested positive for a potentially deadly virus.