70-year-old NC woman's quick thinking helped her survive fox attack

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Thursday, July 6, 2023
70-year-old NC woman's quick thinking helped her survive fox attack
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A 70-year-old woman living outside the Charlotte area in North Carolina got an unfortunate surprise when she went outside to check on her pet cats.

MONROE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A 70-year-old woman living outside the Charlotte area in North Carolina got an unfortunate surprise when she went outside to check on her pet cats.

Kathy Hazelwood of Union County, opened her front door and was immediately met by a fox. The fox sprang at her and attacked.

Thinking on the fly, Hazelwood was able to grab onto the fox and throw it out the door.

"I just reached down and I grabbed him on each side of the neck and took my elbow and opened up the door and threw him out," she said in an interview with the local ABC affiliate WSOC. "I don't know what gave me the energy to do that but I did. I picked him up and slung him out the door."

SEE ALSO | Man mauled to death by 2 dogs in Johnston County; officers shot, killed both K-9s

Despite her quick-thinking, the damage had already been done.

The fox bit Hazelwood 12 times, all on her legs and ankles.

Union County health officials told Hazelwood that unprovoked fox attacks on humans are rather rare. They told her the fox was likely rabid; so she needed to get a round of rabies shots immediately.

"The series that I got at the hospital -- the ones that he had to put around the wounds -- he told me they would be very painful, and they were," Hazelwood said.

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The area's animal services team is searching for the fox that attacked Hazelwood.

"In a case like this, with the fox biting the victim and then running away, we definitely like to try to locate and find that fox so we could have it tested," Lieutenant James Maye said.