You get some interesting news here in North Dakota....
Raccoon encounter ends wrestling tourney for N.D. team
A raccoon ended Carrington’s bid for a fourth consecutive championship in the North Dakota Region 2 dual high school wrestling tournament.
Carrington earned a berth in Saturday’s region tournament final in Grafton after winning its first two duals. But when Carrington school officials discovered the school’s athletes had been exposed to a live wild raccoon over the weekend, they quickly pulled the team out of the tournament before the championship dual was held.
“We (school administrators) found out as the tournament was going on that while our students were on the way to the event, they were exposed to a raccoon,’’ Carrington school superintendent Brian Duchscherer said.
“Once we found that out, we didn’t know if there was the potential of spreading anything, if the raccoon had rabies or not, so we decided to bring our kids home.’’
There has been no determination if the raccoon had rabies, which is a deadly virus that’s usually transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. All types of mammals can contract rabies, but the vast majority of cases involve wild animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Michelle Feist, a public health official working in the disease control department of the North Dakota Department of Health, was contacted by Carrington school officials after the raccoon was discovered.
Feist said there is no concern about health risk to wrestlers who competed against Carrington’s athletes.
“The Carrington wrestlers, if they were bitten or scratched by the raccoon or were playing around the raccoon’s mouth and had an open cut, that could be exposure to it,’’ Feist said. “We haven’t assessed any of those kids yet.
“But just petting the raccoon, or being on the bus with the animal, is not exposure. And anybody who came in contact with any of the (Carrington) wrestlers who were in contact with the raccoon, we’re not worried about health risks for them. That is not an exposure concern.’’
Grafton police Sgt. Anthony Dumas said the raccoon was found somewhere on the Carrington team’s trip to the tournament, and it was stowed in the storage area of the bus. “They thought it was dead, so they picked it up,” (Bloggers Note - I still want the mental thought process of this stage mapped out) he said. Duchscherer said the Carrington coaches were aware of the raccoon.
In Grafton, Dumas said, the storage area was opened, and it became clear the raccoon was still alive. Dumas said no one was scratched or bit by the animal. “It just trotted away,” he said.
About 10:30 a.m., a caller, who was concerned about having a potentially rabid animal on a bus full of young people, reported the incident to authorities. Bloggers Note - There may actually be a special code for this in North Dakota, I think it's a 772.
Dumas, who responded to the call, said police looked for the raccoon, hoping to catch it so it could be tested for rabies, but it was not found.
The sergeant said the Police Department’s involvement in the matter is finished. “There’s no criminal investigation pending in this case at all,” he said.
The school isn’t sure how many wrestlers were exposed to the raccoon.
Carrington beat Larimore 64-15 in the quarterfinals and Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg 66-13 in the finals and was scheduled to meet North Border-Cavalier in the championship.
Instead, North Border-Cavalier won the championship by forfeit