July 30, 2013

Police kill fox that attacked five in South Portland

The 'aggressive' fox even jumped into a parked truck to bite a man. The animal's remains are being tested for rabies.

By Karen Antonacci kantonacci@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

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The man in the truck was advised to seek medical treatment for possible rabies exposure, as were all of the other people who came in contact with the animal.

"While we were investigating that (attack on the truck driver), a jogger approached the officers and said he had been attacked as well," Bernard said. The jogger kicked the fox away and was not bitten, but was considered to be exposed.

Shortly after that, a man and woman who said they were homeless and camping near Clark's Pond flagged down a motorist to call police. The man had been bitten in the face and the woman in the leg, Bernard said. The bites were not severe wounds, Bernard said, but clearly required medical attention. "The more pressing need is the rabies," he said.

One of the campers was taken to Maine Medical Center while the other sought treatment at a local clinic.

Sears said that the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention usually sees an increase in rabid animals in the summer, because there are more animals and people active outside.

So far this year, the Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory has had 30 animals test positive for rabies, according to a report. Three of those were red foxes.

Gray foxes caused two separate evacuations of Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth in July 2011. One fox bit a 3-year-old boy on the arm and his mother on the leg. The fox, which was later shot, tested positive for rabies.

Bernard said people should be on the lookout for sick animals and advised that anyone who has had contact with a fox, especially in the area of Tuesday's attacks, seek medical attention.

Karen Antonacci can be reached at 791-6377 or

kantonacci@pressherald.com

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