Call it a hazard of the job. Encounters between raccoons and reporters on the White House grounds are becoming a regular occurrence.
CNN host Alisyn Camerota shared a video of the network’s senior White House correspondent Joe Johns yelling and throwing something at a raccoon on Wednesday morning “seconds before” he turned around and delivered an on-air report.
“Freakin’ raccoons, man,” Johns said. “Again! It’s the second time!”
This is what a consummate professional @joejohnscnn is. Seconds before his @NewDay live shot, he fends off a raccoon attack! Just another day in the nutty news cycle. #behindthescenes #whitehouseraccoon #wildlife pic.twitter.com/p13w3QICiD
— Alisyn Camerota (@AlisynCamerota) October 7, 2020
Also on Wednesday morning, an NBC White House producer shared video of Secret Service agents attempting to “wrangle a raccoon.”
Good morning from the White House, where Secret Service is trying to wrangle a raccoon. pic.twitter.com/JKT60Q1NO5
— Elyse PG (@elysepg) October 7, 2020
Wednesday was not the first incident of raccoons terrorizing the White House press corps. Last week, CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid reported that “a raccoon attacked multiple news crews on North Lawn,” having “allegedly grabbed pant leg of a photographer & then a corespondent before being fended off.”
She shared a photo of White House raccoons at a previous date in a press tent. Later, Reid shared a photo of a raccoon trap placed on the White House grounds.
Strong Pawnee vibes at White House this morning as a raccoon attacked multiple news crews on North Lawn. 🦝 allegedly grabbed pant leg of a photographer & then a corespondent before being fended off. (WH 🦝🦝 🦝 pictured here in more peaceful times.) pic.twitter.com/o5VbTUHxBR
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) September 28, 2020
MORE: It’s a trap. We found one of the traps set out for the 🦝 who attacked a few journalists yesterday on the White House north lawn. Feds using marshmallows as bait…. #TuesdayThoughts pic.twitter.com/eV5j2kIhdc
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) September 29, 2020
“The curious creatures explored the green enclosures, chased off several journalists and photographers, and one even attempted to chew its way into a backpack. While their presence was considered an inconvenience, they were not the first raccoons to roam the White House Grounds and most certainly will not be the last,” a post on the White House History website said.
The furry mammals are known for their “bandit mask” face markings and causing a nuisance by rummaging through trash cans. They accounted for about 30% of human rabies infections from wild animals in the United States in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The most famous of White House raccoons was the family pet of President Calvin Coolidge, named Rebecca.
A Coolidge supporter from Mississippi gave the family the raccoon as a pet in 1926 with the suggestion that they eat it for Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, it became a family pet, even making appearances at the White House Easter Egg Roll in 1927.
When the Coolidges