If you play football at Nebraska, don’t kill a raccoon with a wrench after it bites you in the leg even if you fear it might be rabid because, in return, PETA will chew your ass

I can’t make this stuff up. See here. The Lincoln paper’s headline screams, “PETA calls for punishment, training after Husker player kills raccoon.”

In part, the story recounts the saga this way,

Huskers defensive end Jack Gangwish was driving his pickup north of town on Dec. 3 when spotted a raccoon in the road and decided to take a photo of himself with the animal.

The raccoon wasn’t as keen on the idea and bit 21-year-old Gangwish in the calf.

“It was a raccoon selfie gone completely wrong,” he said later.

Gangwish said he thought the raccoon should be tested for rabies, so he grabbed a wrench with the aim of subduing it.

“It was death by crescent wrench,” said the 6-foot-2, 260-pound Gangwish, who later tweeted that he did not have rabies.

Wild animals account for 90 percent of rabies cases in the United States, and raccoons make up almost half of those, according to the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were about 6,200 cases of animal infection and one case of human infection in 2012.

On Wednesday, Gangwish said his wound was doing OK and declined further comment.

In her letter to Eichorst, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said, “No animal deserves to be bludgeoned to death, and cruelty is not acceptable under the law. It’s time for acts of cruelty to animals committed by players to be taken extremely seriously, and with violence in football culture now under the microscope, this is the time to address the issue.”

Trigger warning: I next write figuratively and not literally:  I love all creatures great and small, but this asinine complaint makes me want to beat PETA with a wrench.


19 responses

  1. Of course, Mr. Gangwish could have avoided the who matter by skipping the “selfie” with a wild animal that’s part of a species known to carry rabies.

  2. How DO you get close enough to a raccoon to take a selfie? Inquiring minds want to know.

  3. Wait for traffic, and hope it’s dead. I never have a wrench ready; an old tailpipe or hunk of tire works good. Hell, if I had a wrench, I could steal a car and get to the grocery.

    But I don’t prefer raccoon–it tastes too much like PETA. Small gators are much better eatin’.

  4. Adam,

    No. There were two errors in judgment. A 21 year old kid, with a weird sense of humor (and, candidly, one that I sorta share), does a dumb thing and gets bitten for being stupid. So far, so fair. Because he is a farm kid, he knows about rabies and the shots that go with it if the animal is not captured and tested. A sensible conclusion so say I. PETA then makes a perfectly absurd complaint that the kid’s dumb mistake represents a culture of violence on college campuses involving football players. No serious organization (or person) would make that complaint based upon such a broad generalization from the reported facts unless the attendant publicity was intended to gin up donations.

    All the best.


  5. repentinglawyer,

    Great line! If PETA had said that, and then shut up, it would have had my support! Instead, like the rabid animals for which those folks feel so much empathy, they go mad with the silly yet ostensibly serious complaint that this incident somehow represents a culture of violence involving college football players.

    All the best.


  6. Pingback: Raccoon tossing ought to replace football « Hercules and the umpire.

  7. Reminds me of a case in CA where homeowner killed a racoon in his back yard. Police charged him with cruelty to animals. Actually went to trial. Defense counsel correctly pointed out that Racoons were vermin under state law and there was no restriction on “hunting” and killing vermin. Case dismissed.

  8. Jill,

    That the “chimp” case was not thrown out of court the day after it was filed, and the lawyer sanctioned for filing a frivolous case, is astonishing. All the best.


  9. I think that’s exactly the point. He was an idiot, and an animal (yes, just a raccoon, I know) suffered a violent death because of it. Your headline makes it sound like he was attacked by a raccoon. I think your comment about loving all creatures great and small is belied by everything you say. But how dare they say football has a culture of violence? Oh wait…all the stuff in the news. Right.

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