"It was my first encounter with a raccoon where there was contact," said Taraka Larson, attacked by raccoons.
Taraka Larson can joke about her run-in with a raccoon now, but it was no laughing matter two evenings ago when she met up with a pair, as she took a stroll around a pond near 59th Street in Central Park.
She says the animals approached her and attacked.
"He takes his little claws and was just gnawing on my leg, and I was like kicking my leg and he goes flying into the bushes," Larson said.
A bleeding Taraka ran to the nearby Plaza Hotel for help. The concierge suggested she might need rabies shot.
She ended up at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital where staff couldn't seem to believe her story.
"I'm like, I'm sure it wasn't a squirrel, I think I know what a raccoon looks like. They said it could have been a small dog, and I'm like, it was a raccoon," Larson said.
A photo snapped just before the incident convinced them.
Taraka endured 15 shots to her ankle to head off a possible rabies infection.
The City Parks Department told Eyewitness News, "There are no indications that the raccoons were rabid, but we advise the public to view wildlife from a safe distance and not to engage them."
That's something Taraka insists she didn't do, a lesson learned growing up in Texas.
"When I told my family out in Texas, they were like, what, you spent 20 years in Texas and then you get attacked by a raccoon up in New York City," Larson said.