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Merritt Island park reopens after raccoon attacks

Officials trap nearly a dozen raccoons at Kiwanis Island Park

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – A Brevard County park reopened Tuesday after officials closed it over the weekend because of a pair of raccoons attacks.

Jack Masson, Brevard County parks and recreation director, said Tuesday that Kiwanis Island Park on Merritt Island was reopened to the public after assessing the park for safety.  A licensed wildlife trapper had captured nearly a dozen raccoons at the park.

"The reason that we've closed the park is to err on the side of safety for our park patrons.  When we've done an assessment, then we'll open the park up," Masson told Local 6 news partner Florida Today on Monday.

The first attack happened Wednesday when a raccoon scratched and bit a woman who was eating lunch at the large pavilion, Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement Capt. Bob Brown said. The woman required medical attention, according to a release.

Then Friday afternoon, a raccoon bit a child at the playground, said Don Walker, county spokesman. That prompted officials to shut down the 18-acre Sykes Creek recreation area through Monday.

It's not known what prompted the raccoon attacks. He estimated a dozen or so raccoons live at the park, located off State Road 520.