msnbc.com
updated 11/3/2010 7:11:24 PM ET 2010-11-03T23:11:24

A 9-month-old baby was in critical condition after raccoons attacked her in her crib on Wednesday. Authorities were investigating whether the animals were being kept as pets, the Covington News reported.

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The mother woke in the night to the sound of her daughter whimpering to find two raccoons in the crib biting the infant, Newton County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Tyrone Oliver told the newspaper. The woman threw the raccoons out and called for help, Oliver said.

When deputies arrived, the two raccoons were outside the home and one was shot when it acted aggressively, the newspaper reported. Both animals ran under a debris pile, and when they were dug out, one was dead. The other was sent to Atlanta, where it tested negative for rabies, Newton County Animal Control Director Teri Key-Hoosen told the newspaper.

The baby was in critical condition at a hospital with head injuries.

The raccoons gained entry by pushing aside panels of an air conditioning unit. If the raccoons were being kept as pets, charges could be pending against the parents, Oliver told the newspaper.

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