Groundhog charges at woman in Eldersburg in second groundhog-related event this week

Emily Chappell
Contact ReporterCarroll County Times

A groundhog has been removed from the Eldersburg area after it tried to attack a woman in a parking lot Tuesday afternoon, Karen Baker, executive director of the Humane Society of Carroll County, confirmed.

Baker could not say if the animal was alive, but said as of 3:30 p.m., it was en route back to the shelter. “It will be humanely euthanized … if it hasn’t been already,” she said.

Tuesday’s incident, while also in Eldersburg, was not close in proximity to another groundhog-related incident on Sunday, when a groundhog was shot by a Carroll County sheriff’s deputy.

“They’re quite a distance apart,” Baker said.

Baker said she didn’t know many details regarding Tuesday’s incident, but said a groundhog came after a woman but the woman was able to get into her car and was not injured.

The groundhog “made contact,” she said, but didn’t bite the woman or puncture her. Baker said she does believe the animal tried to bite the woman.

It’s mating season for groundhogs, she said, adding that “everything is unusual right now.”

But, Baker said, it is somewhat unusual for a wild animal to not take the “easiest route of escape.” Typically, groundhogs aren’t aggressive to the point of charging and chasing, she said, but added that they do see it occasionally.

“With any [mammal] that’s acting strangely” there’s concern over rabies, she said. It’s up to the Carroll County Health Department to decide whether to test for rabies, Baker added.

On Sunday, the deputy fatally shot a groundhog in Eldersburg in a video recorded incident that has since gone viral on social media. The deputy stopped when he observed the groundhog acting oddly, department spokesman Cpl. Jon Light previously said.

The animal was causing vehicles to stop and was creating a hazard, the Sheriff’s Office previously said in a statement. At that point, the deputy stopped and got out of his vehicle. He tried to direct the groundhog off the road and “realized that it was not responding as expected for an animal that was not being cornered or trapped. Believing the groundhog to be either sick or injured, the deputy then put the animal down for the public’s safety,” according to the statement.

The incident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday at Liberty Road, near White Rock Road, where the deputy had stopped traffic in both directions.

Baker said that groundhog was not being tested for rabies because it did not make contact with a human or domestic animal.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jessica Anderson contributed to this article.

emily.chappell@carrollcountytimes.com

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