Health

Former Porn Actress, Infamous TV Host Treated For Rabies After Raccoon Bite

| by Kathryn Schroeder

Robin Byrd, 58, an infamous public-access TV host and former 1970s porn star, was bitten by a raccoon on Fire Island in New York and is now being treated for rabies.

The incident occurred over Columbus Day weekend at her home in the Pines when her dog, Om, began barking.

“I stomped on the deck and I heard a growling, like, ‘Grrr,’” Byrd told Page Six. “I thought it was a cat.”

Byrd took her hand and put it behind a planter to investigate the noise and that is when the raccoon bit her hand.

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“I’m in Central Park all the time, there are raccoons,” Byrd said. “I don’t go and touch them or anything. I guess I disturbed the raccoon and he didn’t like it and he let me know.”

Byrd tried to contact Suffolk County Animal Control Services about the raccoon but found the number disconnected. When she contacted the local police, they told her: “It’s their land … Leave them alone.”

Because the raccoon was not caught, it is not possible to test the animal for rabies. As a precaution, Byrd is being treated.

“I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, it may not be in the planter, but it's somewhere out there,’” Byrd said. The experience has been “very traumatic,” she added. "I’m very afraid."

Byrd will receive a total of five shots to counteract rabies, should she have been exposed to it from the raccoon bite.

“I had my second one yesterday,” Byrd told Page Six. “The shots were more painful than the bite.”

Byrd expressed in detail her experience with the treatment on her Facebook page, according to The Daily Mail.

“I’m still taking an antibiotic that's burning the sh** out of my belly and my chest but I'm bearing with it because in the long run I now have my rabies shots and I refuse to believe that I'm going to let a raccoon take me down!...” she wrote.

Byrd is a cult figure in New York, due to her “Robin Byrd Show” on public-access TV that has been running since 1977. She infamously wore a crocheted bikini while hosting the show and discussed sex issues, hosted erotic performers as guests, and was a supporter of the LGBT community before it was more widely accepted.

The show now mostly consists of re-runs but continues to air.

During her porn career, Byrd starred in well-known films, such as “Debbie Does Dallas,” “Bad Penny,” and “Hot Honey.”

Cheri Oteri famously parodied her on Saturday Night Live in the '90s, and a documentary on Byrd’s life is reportedly in the works.

“My story has to be told before I leave this planet,” Byrd told Page Six.

Sources: Page Six, The Daily Mail / Photo credit: David Shankbone/Flickr