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Rehoboth boy attacked by animal believed to be fisher cat

A small wild animal scratched and bit a Rehoboth boy at a pool party outside his home Monday night, officials said.

The boy’s family was throwing the party at their Winthrop Street home when the animal attacked the boy around 9 p.m., said Jane Foster, Rehoboth’s animal control officer.

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“It was not the norm for an animal to come into a lot of activity” like the party, Foster said.

After struggling with the animal, which gave him bites and scratches to his right hand and left leg, the boy finally escaped by slamming a door on it as he moved inside, Foster said.

Foster has set a trap outside the home, in case the animal returns. She said it could have been looking for food set out for outdoor pets, or could have been hunting, since the badger-like creatures hunt at night.

Foster said female fisher cats can be “very aggressive” if they feel their young are threatened. It is unclear whether the animal was ill.

“I cannot, without testing the animal, say if it was rabid,” Foster said. “Rabid animals can be friendly; rabid animals can be vicious.”

She said she didn’t know what medical treatment the boy was undergoing.

Kiera Blessing may be reached at kierab@bu.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @kierablessing.
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