Nebraska football player Jack Gangwish said it was a “raccoon selfie gone completely wrong” when explaining to the Lincoln Star why he killed a raccoon that he had found. The football player noticed a raccoon on the roadside and claims that he couldn’t help grabbing it for a selfie.
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) December 5, 2014
Unfortunately for Gangwish and the raccoon, the raccoon wasn’t keen on cuddling up to him for the selfie photo op. The raccoon bit him on the calf, as one might expect.
Gangwish said that after it bit him, he knew the animal would need to be tested for rabies, so he beat the raccoon to death with a crescent wrench from his truck, according to the Omaha World-Herald. The raccoon’s remains were sent out for rabies testing. Without testing, Gangwish would have had to receive the post-exposure treatment for rabies, which includes a vaccine and the human rabies immune globulin (HRIG), according to the CDC.
The football player tweeted about his experience but, according to Huffington Post, those tweets have been deleted.
“I googled Rabies symptoms.. Irritability, muscle spasms, aggressiveness, confusion,” he tweeted about the deadly disease the raccoon’s remains were tested for. He then joked, “I think football gives you Rabies.”
Gangwish further made light of the raccoon’s death stating, “It was death by crescent wrench” and tweeting, “I AM THE COON WHISPER.”
“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.”
PETA called for swift discipline of all animal abusers and suggested that the University provide all football players with empathy training. Gangwish claims he never meant to kill the raccoon, only subdue it so that it could be taken in for testing.
“This is oddly lighthearted for the story of an innocent raccoon that got rolled up on, forcibly photographed, then beaten to death,” a Deadspin writer stated in an editorial. “The raccoon’s corpse is currently being tested for rabies. I hope it comes back clear and that Gangwish is healthy, and also that Gangwish gets charged for animal abuse.”
Still, the 21-year-old Nebraska football player has plenty of supporters.
— Mike Welch (@RealMikeWelch) December 10, 2014
At the end of the ordeal, the raccoon’s rabies tests came back negative, just as the Deadspin writer had hoped.
I’m sure y’all be excited to hear that the results came back and i do not have Rabies!
— Jack Gangwish (@jackgangwish) December 5, 2014
What do you think of what he did to the raccoon? Should he have let the raccoon return to the wild and then sought rabies post-exposure treatment for his own protection? Did the Nebraska football player make the right choice after the raccoon selfie didn’t go as planned?
[Photo via Twitter]