A woman was attacked by a raccoon while hanging Christmas lights. She put it in a headlock. – USA TODAY

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A Massachusetts woman was not going to let a raccoon steal her holiday joy. So when the animal attacked her while she was hanging her outdoor Christmas lights, she put it in a headlock.
Donna Sanginario, 70, said she heard strange noises coming from the street on Dec. 1 when she turned and saw a large raccoon 10 feet away, according to a Facebook post
“Before I could do anything it jumped at me,” she wrote. “Worst nightmare of my life.”
She said her and the animal were both screaming as she cried out for help. The raccoon at one point fell off her arm, but jumped back on to continue the attack. 
After tumbling to the ground, Sanginario said she got the raccoon in a headlock and wouldn’t let go. 
“As he was biting me I could hear bones breaking in his neck,” she wrote on Facebook.
The raccoon eventually walked away after she let it go, but left her with bloody injuries. 
Sanginario told Boston news station WHDH she had broken ribs. She also said she had to get a series of shots, including a tetanus shot, in case the raccoon was rabid. 
She told the outlet she was able to finish putting her lights up and will be prepared the next time she heads into the yard. 
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‘Lucky to be alive’:Cancer patient seeks refuge at Lake Tahoe home. Then, a bear attacked her.
“Can you believe it? I really thought I was going to die,” Sanginario wrote. “It’s been a rough couple days but a weekend with my girlfriends is helping take the pain and trauma away.”
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: agilbert@usatoday.com.


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