Group of Raccoons Attacks Journalists, Media Outside of White House

by Jennifer Shea
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A raccoon got up close and personal with media members gathered on the North Lawn of the White House on Monday.

The raccoon put its furry paws on a photographer and a reporter, the Independent reported, not to mention the media’s gear. The journalists watched as the raccoon grabbed their clothes. 

Paula Reid of CBS News tweeted about the incident. “Strong Pawnee vibes at White House this morning as a raccoon attacked multiple news crews on North Lawn,” she said, a reference to the fictional “Parks and Recreation” town overrun by raccoons. “[Raccoon] allegedly grabbed pant leg of a photographer & then a correspondent [sic] before being fended off.”

The White House has reached out to the U.S. General Services Administration about the at least one raccoon who went after the media, Reid tweeted.

Raccoons have a storied history on White House property, the White House Historical Association claims. The most well-known White House raccoon was Rebecca, a pet of the Coolidge family who was given to them by a supporter from Mississippi. 

When the Coolidges had to temporarily leave the White House during a roof renovation, Rebecca went with them. When First Lady Grace Coolidge had to host the White House Egg Roll, Rebecca joined in.

And during the Hoover administration, a four-year-old raccoon named Susie and her six cubs joined President and Mrs. Hoover’s garden party from the D.C. Zoo.

Back then, the visiting dignitaries likely had a good deal more fun than the CBS News crew did watching the raccoons romp on the White House grounds. 

Outsider.com