Aggressive foxes bite people in Raleigh

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Two people were bitten and animal control has set traps.

Authorities in Raleigh and Wake County are warning residents after three calls about an aggressive fox.

One incident happened around 10 a.m. in the 1400 block of Beacon Valley Drive when a resident was bitten on the foot by the fox.

"I hear this screaming, never heard that before in my life," said Carol Ritchie, "I look and I see this fox running in front of my car from my neighbor's driveway around by the tree and it bit my leg! It just attacked my leg!"

She was outside refilling her bird bath when it happened. She had a jug of water in her hand and used it to fight back.

"The fox is screaming, I'm screaming," said Ritchie, "I started throwing water on it from that jug of water. It backed off, came back and attacked. It bit my left leg. I continued to throw water on it until there was nothing in that jug."

She said the fox then went under her car before biting her a third time. She tried to hit it with her jug and then it ran off. She went inside and called 911. She was treated at WakeMed where they put her on a series of rabies shots and antibiotics. She also needed a tetanus shot.

Animal control with the City of Raleigh set two traps on her property.

About an hour earlier, and about a mile away, an employee at Taylor's Nursery on New Bern Avenue and Trawick Drive was bitten on the boot by a fox. The fox didn't break through the boot so no one there was injured.

Officials with the county animal control said a third call about a fox came in Wednesday night from the 3600 block of Cove Drive. In that incident, the person who called actually shot the fox.

That fox was tested at the state lab for rabies and the test came back positive. There is no way to know if it's the same fox from the first two calls.

Officials say they worry that with some of the attacks happening during the day that could mean another fox is rabid. At Taylor's Nursery though, they think the fox in that case may have been protecting a nearby den with pups.

Authorities in Raleigh say if you see an animal with aggressive behavior or showing other signs of concern, it should be reported immediately by calling (919) 831-6311.

Wake County health officials are urging residents to not approach animals that they don't know, and to make sure their pets have the current rabies vaccination.

If a pet is allowed outside, a booster vaccine is recommended if they're exposed to a suspected rabid animal. Outdoor pets should be kept inside until they receive booster vaccines.

Officials say do not feed stray or unknown animals, including cats and dogs.

Also, do not leave trash or food outside, unless it is in a trash can with a tight-fitting lid.

If a pet is fed outside, do not leave food out overnight.

Officials also say if a pet comes in contact with an animal that might be rabid, contact a veterinarian immediately.

MORE:
Info on what people can do if they think they've been bitten by rabid animal:
http://www.wakegov.com/humanservices/publichealth/information/diseases/Pages/rabies.aspx

Info on animal exposure to rabies: http://www.wakegov.com/pets/health/rabies/Pages/default.aspx

MAP OF FOX ATTACK LOCATIONS

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