Good News, Philly — Your Rabid Groundhog Is With Satan Now

Last month Eliza told us about a rabid groundhog that was stalking the streets of Philadelphia. She called multiple government agencies, but none of them would do anything about it. It took a vigilante to set things right and defeat the crazed beast.

She writes:

A newspaper delivery man was stopped at the corner in his truck, watching the groundhog along with the rest of the neighbors, and he said, “Hey, want me to take care of that for ya?” I started cheering “YES, DO IT!” So he slowly pulled up onto the curb, and the groundhog charged right towards his tire and that was that. I must give props to the Philadelphia Streets Department, because we reported it to them as roadkill and they came and cleaned it right up that afternoon.

Perhaps Eliza’s hero has stumbled upon a new side career for newspaper deliverymen who have less to do due to slumping circulation.

Previously: City of Philly Says You’re On Your Own Against Rabid Street Animals


Edit Your Comment

  1. blinky says:

    Rabid has a technical meaning. Did she know it was actually rabid? And it survived for six weeks?

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      It was killed last month.

    • Julia789 says:

      I hope they alerted the workman cleaning up the “roadkill” that it was suspected to have rabies, so that they could be very careful when handling the splattered remains not to get infected.

      I also hope it wasn’t just aggressive because it had babies nearby. I once saw a squirrel viciously defending its dead baby for two weeks, whenever I walked my dog past that block. If I hadn’t looked carefully in the bushes, I wouldn’t have noticed the dead baby squirrel. Looked like it had fallen from the tree nest. I would have thought the squirrel was sick. Poor thing, trying to help its baby. But it “barked” and charged anything not only right next to it, but up and down the entire block! It must have gone mad, no sleeping and trying to protect it, not understanding it was gone.

      • Laura Northrup says:

        Aww, that’s sad. Poor mama squirrel.

        • Julia789 says:

          Yeah I felt really bad for Momma squirrel. She defended that whole block for her poor dead baby, stuck in the bushes.

          Eventually she could not chase the large birds off that were congregating and I think they made off with the remains. She was a good momma. She even charged my dog while he was barking at her! She was very brave. (We kept at the other side of the street after that, to ease her anxiety.)

    • coren says:

      Original article was posted June 17, so we’re talking less than three in this case

  2. starryeyed0806 says:


  3. KillerBee says:

    I had a similar problem with a rabid raccoon a few years back. Animal Control wouldn’t touch it, cops wouldn’t even talk to us. “Not my job” they all said. Just goes to show… can’t count on your government for anything. You want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.

    • Corinthos says:

      Same here we had the problem with a raccoon and called them when we trapped it in a trash can at my work. Spent 20 minutes playing the transfer game with various place then decided take care of it We didn’t want to get attacked so we taped down the lid. Drove it about 5 miles away to and overpass that no one used over a creek and dumped the contents of the can off the side.
      Don’t know how many laws we broke or if the raccoon survived the fall but he never came back.

      • radio1 says:

        Seriously. I understand why you needed your ‘own’ solution but look at my above post. While it worked out for you, all you really happened to do was make it someone ELSE’S problem.

        Not really good for the public health in general.

      • Corinthos says:

        Not going to mess with it. Next time I’ll drop it off on an elementary schools property. Bet someone from the city will deal with it then.

    • radio1 says:

      Did you call your local Board of Health, or your local Animal Health Bureau (usually part of State Food and Agriculture Dept), or your State Department of Public Health or your State Veternarian or your local Animal Inspector?

      Whether or not your local ACO/Dog Officer is chartered to even handle wildlife is up to the town.

      There are resources for situations such as this, and I know from experience that it sucks when everyone plays hot potato with you.

      Alternatively, you could also call your local wildlife vet or wildlife rehab center…

      • dreamfish says:

        Indeed. Their failing was to only have contacted n organisations instead of n+1.

        That way, they’re always in the wrong.

      • Julia789 says:

        Yes, wildlife vets and wildlife rehab centers know “who to call” at the police station and animal control – folks past the dispatcher who says “not our problem.”

        And it’s true that some police and animal control may be prohibited from touching wildlife – some animal control are only authorized to handle stray dogs, etc. They could lose their job for going outside their duties, if that is how the state or city laws and ordinances work.

        However – they should know who to advise you to call! There are usually procedures in place for such things e.g. “We recommend Smith’s Pest Control here is the phone number.” or “Call the health department at 222-555-1234.” Saying “Not our problem” is a poor choice.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      And the Brady Campaign says we need to ban 50-caliber rifles. Apparently their fantasy world isn’t populated with rabid groundhogs!

      Lock and load, baby.

    • Randell says:

      How do you know any animal is rabid without proper testing? Rabies is a disease. Once it is symptamatic it is too late for the animal and far from dangerous to you.

      • DoubleEcho says:

        What? It’s far from dangerous once it’s showing symptoms? Rabid animals will attack other animals, which includes humans, when the virus is transferable. At that point I’d say the rabid animal is very dangerous because it’s a host with a disease transferred by bites and possibly scratches. Animals don’t have to be foaming at the mouth to show symptoms of rabies – how many woodchucks have you seen charge people repeatedly on a city street? I had a woodchuck under my shed that would run away and hide if I tapped the window on my 2nd floor window. The shed is more than 100ft from the house, so compare that to a woodchuck trying to attack a fucking tire and it’s pretty simple to figure out which one is rabid.

      • MercuryPDX says:

        The only way to know for sure is to euthanize the animal and test its brain tissue. Without that, you’re only going on visible symptoms.

        Learn more: Rabies Diagnosis

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      “Just goes to show… can’t count on your government for anything.”

      Generalize much?

      • JennQPublic says:

        No! If government doesn’t take care of our every need, then it obviously can’t take care of anything!

    • spanky says:

      Municipal services do not just spring, fully funded and mandated, from incorporation papers or something. There are plenty of municipalities in the US that do not even have basic animal control services, much less a wildlife division. It sounds as though Philadelphia simply does not have an agency that is tasked with and funded to handle wildlife complaints, so those are left to the free market–something that most ‘I hate government’ types champion.

      If you want a government to handle certain types of issues, you have to establish an agency that has the personnel and equipment to do so, and you have to fund that agency with tax dollars.

    • MaytagRepairman says:

      Public Service Announcement. It is more common for raccoons to get distemper than rabies and it is often mistaken for rabies because most of us aren’t well educated or experienced with these diseases.

    • BETH says:

      The correct agency to call regarding wild animals is the Pennsylvania Game Commission in Harrisburg.

  4. rpm773 says:

    I must give props to the Philadelphia Streets Department, because we reported it to them as roadkill and they came and cleaned it right up that afternoon.

    And that’s how the 2010 Philadelphia Streets Dept. 4th of July picnic went down as being one of the best ever, despite budget cut backs!

  5. Hirayuki says:

    I had assumed something like this happened back when we last heard about this groundhog; the original story last month ended: “Nobody really knew what to do, so eventually the groundhog got, er, run over, if you catch my drift.” Now I’m confused.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Don’t be. What better way to drag out a story over multiple posts than to “update” it with stuff from the original story a month later.

  6. MooflesThaCat says:

    An animal is dead and the people of Philly cheer. Santa comes to a football game and the people of Philly start to boo. I’m starting to think Philly’s moral are just a tad out of whack (I am a Giants Fan so I am bound by law to hate Philly.. :D and Boston… )

    • chiieddy says:

      If you’re a Giants fan, you should hate the 49ers. That’s the traditional rivalry.

      — A Giants fan who lives in Boston

    • Darkrose says:

      Actually it wasn’t just booing, there was a throwing of snowballs at the jolly old fella from the North Pole.

      Things have changed though, now we just throw Giants fans at Santa.

    • nrich239 says:

      The people boo’d and threw snowballs at “Santa” because he came out completely intoxicated, yet no one seems to remember or report on that 2nd part……

  7. Beef Supreme says:

    Gopher, Everett?

  8. Nytmare says:

    “Come on baby, bite my tire.”

  9. pantheonoutcast says:

    Truck driver runs over animal in street, idiots cheer.

    I’m confused. How is is Best Buy, Comcast or Al Franken involved?

    • hypochondriac says:

      To bad they told us it was a newspaper delivery. Otherwise we could have assumed is was comcast truck

  10. ommpa_loompa says:

    God speed, my fury little friend

  11. Bakergirl says:
  12. mythago says:

    Basement Cat will be pleased to meet his new playmate.

  13. DwightIsMyCopilot says:

    A couple of years ago our neighbors found a python in their yard here in Texas. They immediately called Animal Control, who told them that they couldn’t do anything about it. So our neighbors had to call a few pet stores in the area to find one that would come out and get it.

    It scared the crap out of me that Animal Control just thought it would be fine to be left out in our very kid- and pet-friendly neighborhood. No big deal.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      In an ironic coincidence, I populate my yard with pythons in order to keep other people’s pets and kids off of my property.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      If you allow your babies to roam the yard in the hot Texas sun unattended, then I really wouldn’t call your neighborhood kid friendly. More like adult/parent lazy.

      • DwightIsMyCopilot says:

        Yup, we never have good weather.

        Look, a parent turned their back! Someone! Call CPS! QUICK!

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          Sorry. Dwight made the assertion that a python is a danger to children. As long as you keep your eyes on your kids every once inawhile and the thing isn’t 15+ feet long, it isn’t eating kids.

          • ej84 says:

            I always agree with you except this once: Kids should be able to wander in the field and the woods reasonably safely. That means, in Texas, knowing how to avoid black widows and rattle snakes and knowing what to do if you get bitten by either. It means knowing how to cross the street safely. It does not include recognizing pythons. Parents should know where their kids are, but they do not need to follow them around everywhere.

      • DwightIsMyCopilot says:

        Other things we don’t have here in Texas: Trees & any kind of shade. True story.

    • rookie says:

      I live by a small lake in Texas. I really and truly thought that everyone, and, i do mean EVERYONE, in Texas owned and knew how to use a scattergun. Cottenmouth do not last long around here. Now, it’s a dang shame that folks in the city do not have that luxury of dispatching perilous beasts at will. Me??? I enjoy the heck out it…

    • Dutchess says:

      “Do it for the children” the battle cry for everyone who has nothing but an emotional non fact based argument for their cause.

  14. yessongs says:


  15. Zagro says:

    Rabid Groundhog Is With Satan Now

    Realy. hell?

    Consumerist shame on you.

    poor fuzzy wuubbbzulebuns

    I’m not that crazy yet but satin :)
    come on. it was sick in head not possessed.. err. well ya i suppose it was in a way…
    Any way ya coulda sed resting now or something other than condemning it to the depts of flaming poo bags and the home of politicians

  16. Cancel my subscrption says:

    Disgusting, cruel and probably illegal. Way to glamorize it. I hope no one else gets any bright ideas from this story.

    And now to unsubscribe from your site.

    • coren says:

      Considering that all you do is make negative comments anyway, I’m sure you’ll be a great loss.

    • Fidget says:

      Yeah, I mean, if it’s definitely dangerous, then the natural human reaction would be to kill it. But this woman sounds kind of like, “If an animal doesn’t LOVE ME, it must be rabid!” Nevermind that Julia’s post above about the animal having babies sounds pretty plausible, did she check that she wasn’t going near its nest/doing something to fuck with its burrows? Because a symptomatic animal and a pissy animal are not the same thing. Besides, I thought rabies made animals more laconic, letting you get way too close before they bite at you?
      Either way, there should be real pleasure in killing something you can’t eat. And killing it with a damned car, no less. They sound like lovely people.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i don’t know a lot about groundhog/woodchucks but i do have one in my yard. that is, one adult, one baby. i know there’s a baby because it goes everywhere with the momma, side by side. since i first saw it in late may, the baby was pretty big already, maybe a couple of pounds. i’m guessing philadelphia groundhogs probably breed along a pretty similar schedule as the rest of the east coast so if it had a baby i’d be expecting to see it with the momma.
        it could have been going crazy if something was wrong with the baby though but the description of its behavior does sound a lot like rabies.

      • LACubsFan says:

        She’s a moron.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I didn’t. I either drown or leave my woodchucks/whistlepigs/groundhogs in the trap. Both are good ways to kill them quickly. In fact, last night I left a trap out, checked it this morning at 9am, and then again at 3pm. Between 9 and 3, one crawled in the trap and was dead from the sun by the time I checked at 3pm. Problems solve themselves sometimes.

      But running them over is not a good idea. I have seen at least two run/crawl into the engine compartment of a truck. One did it just after we tried to release it. Didn’t realize it till we were driving down the road, and someone behind us saw it fall out from under the truck. Engine heat got him.

    • Mr. Pottersquash says:

      you have to subscribe for consumerist?

  17. H3ion says:

    Good Cujo, nice Cujo. Is this groundhog related to the rabbit that attacked Jimmy Carter?

  18. acasto says:

    Best headline ever.

  19. gman863 says:

    Next February I’ll be glued to my TV when Punxsutawney Phil is pulled from his hole on Groundhog Day.

    2:1 — The guy in the top hat gets his face ripped off by rabid foaming buckteeth.

    3:1 — Rabid Phil ignores the face, going directly for the nuts and berries.

    10:1 — Phil goes after Al Roker for an encore.

  20. Mr. Pottersquash says:

    oh wow….thats crazy…

  21. Big Ant says:

    Maybe the groundhog is haunting the street now. Next headline is: “Rabid groundhog, shunned by government, ran over and picked up as roadkill, is back again and even more spooky than ever.”

  22. Dondegroovily says:

    In Ferndale, WA a couple years ago, a bunch of people repeatedly called the private company the county contracted for animal control to complain about neglected starving llamas (really). Eventually, the county sheriff had to come out to seize the animals and arrest the owners.

    The county pretty quickly fired that company, and now the county Humane Society has the contract. That’s one advantage to gov’t contracting stuff, is that they can fire them.