Friday, June 27, 2008

When Racoons Attack...

My trip to Manuel Antonio was great, however, I had an experience that was worthy of it's own post. After my friend and I hiked around the national park and saw all the animals we wanted to see, we decided it was time to go to the main beach and have a swim with all the other tourists. While we were there we could hear the holler monkeys, see lots of iguanas and lizards scurry along and, oddly enough, I even had lots of little hermit crabs crawl on me while I was taking in the sun's rays. It was a little annoying but there were a lot of them and I was probably covering their home. I don't really know.

Well, there was a lady that came and sat pretty close to us and brought some food for lunch. That wasn't the interesting part. Shortly after she started eating, 3 racoons came up behind her, snagged the sandwich out of her hand and started going through her other things. Haha! She had a natural reaction and got up and moved away, grabbed what she could quickly and stood there amazed that the racoons didn't care that people were around. They weren't scared of us. Finally, she threw some sand at them and they scurried of...this is when things started to get interesting.

A bunch of us went to go take pictures and see what mischief they would get into next when one of the racoons started to get a little cozy on the clothes I hung out to dry on a log! Then, another one, decided to start scratching his leg for about 10 minutes...that must have been one heck of an itch. They were cute and none of us were scared to have them around. I didn't really want to get too close but it made the afternoon interesting. I was a little bothered they decided to nap on my shirt so I got sort of clothes, grabbed my stuff and then took some more pictures.

I returned to soak up the sun and took in all the goodness the park had to offer. Two of the racoons came back to the lady with the food...who had moved closer to the water and was now in front of us. I sat up, leaned back on my hands and laughed to myself about the spectacle these racoons were creating...then, I felt something on my hand. At first, I just assumed it was another hermit crab making the trek across my hand or one of the many bugs that like to suck blood but then I looked down and saw the third racoon sitting next to me with his hand on joke! The racoon was holding my hand, I guess he wanted to cuddle or something, I don't really know. As cute as it probably was, I reacted like any person would when a racoon touches them, I freaked out! I jerked my hand away, jumped up and moved away. When I jerked my hand away, the little claws on his hand scratched me a bit. Of course, I freaked out even more and thought I would get rabies and needed a tetnus shot. I went and found a park guide, told them what happened and they said I would live and be perfectly fine. Supposedly the racoons here in Costa Rica don't carry rabies...thank goodness. No shots for me. By the evening, the scratch marks were gone and I was happy about that. So, who gets scratched by a racoon in Costa Rica? I do! Craziness but I guess it makes for a great blog entry :)

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