The Maine Warden Service says a fox that attacked a worker in Topsham on Tuesday morning was likely rabid.

Wardens said the fox bit Mark Sleeper of Wiscasset and then attacked him again before running away.

The incident, which was captured on surveillance video, happened early Tuesday morning at Grimmel Industries, a scrap metal yard located off Route 196 in Topsham.

Later in the day, a fox was struck and killed by a vehicle on the Grimmel property, Cpl. John MacDonald told WCSH-TV. MacDonald says the dead fox was a sickly gray fox with porcupine quills in its face, leading wardens to believe it’s probably the same one that attacked Sleeper.

In the surveillance video, the fox can be seen trying to bite Sleeper’s leg. Sleeper tries to kick the fox before grabbing it with his left hand and hurling it through the air. The fox travels several feet before landing on the pavement and seems slightly stunned by the force of the fall, but then gets up and races back toward Sleeper, who can be seen running away.

Courtney Garrison, Grimmel Industries’ office manager, shared the video on her Facebook page. She said Sleeper made it safely to his truck before the fox could attack again.


“We decided to share the official video footage from the attack yesterday (Tuesday) on our driver Mark. Please share this video so that others know how dangerous these animals with rabies are,” Garrison said in a Facebook message posted Wednesday.

Garrison also posted the video on YouTube.

The fox was taken to a lab for testing. Sleeper, who’s from Wiscasset, was taken to a local hospital and is being treated for rabies as a precaution.

Sleeper could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

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