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Groundhog Torments New Hampshire Neighborhood

A groundhog tormented a Hampton, New Hampshire, neighborhood, sparking the #HamptonGroundhog hashtag on Twitter.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A groundhog tormented a Hampton, New Hampshire, neighborhood, sparking the #HamptonGroundhog hashtag on Twitter. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014)

    A crazed groundhog chased a New Hampshire man and tried to scratch and bite its way into his home, one day after another wild animal attacked a dog just miles away.

    The groundhog that's been on Gary McGrath's Hampton property for more than a year, suddenly turned on him.

    "He got so close I could give him a boot and I did," McGrath said.

    He then chased McGrath into his garage, and then into his house.

    "Thank goodness no one has a video of me being chased by a groundhog, that would have been very comical," McGrath said chuckling.

    But no one was laughing when McGrath went back outside to finish his yard work, and the critter went crazy, again. McGrath ran back in through his front door, called police, and then snapped some photos of the animal trying to get into the house.

    "His teeth were going a mile a minute, he was scratching and trying to bite through the siding," McGrath said.

    When he and his wife went to go warn neighbors, they learned the groundhog had tormented another family earlier in the day.

    "They told us their dog was attacked by the same animal just going crazy," McGrath explained.

    The groundhog attacked the animal control officer when he showed up, forcing the ACO to kill the animal in the front yard.

    This comes just one day after a coyote attacked a dog and his owner in Greenland, less than ten miles away.

    "It's unusual to see animals this aggressive in this time frame," said New Hampshire Fish and Game Lt. Michael Eastman.

    Wildlife officials believe both animals were sick, possibly rabid.

    "It's a fatal virus and there is no known cure for it," Lt. Eastman said. "That's why we take it so seriously."

    McGrath admits this is one groundhog day, he never wants to relive. Especially, when his three grandkids are visiting.

    "It could have been a bad situation if they were out there at the time," McGrath said. "We're very fortunate."

    Wildlife officials are taking this opportunity to warn families that no matter how cute wild animals may seem, don't approach them, certainly don't feed them, and if they act out of the ordinary call your local authorities. 

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