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Rabid fox attacks Va. officer

The Richmond Times-Dispatch

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Henrico County police said a fox that was shot and killed Saturday afternoon after it attacked an officer investigating another fox incident has tested positive for rabies.

Four people, including the police officer, were attacked by a fox in different incidents Saturday, Henrico authorities said.

The victims were treated for exposure to the animal, and all were notified of the positive rabies test, Henrico police Lt. John C. Coover said in a statement.

Coover said police activated a reverse-911 call to notify area residents in the general area where the incidents occurred.

On Saturday morning, a fox bit a 6-year-old girl on the heel in the 1900 block of Thornbury Court, police said. A second incident occurred shortly before 1 p.m., when a fox attacked a 34-year-old man jogging on Church Road at Blandfield Street. The animal jumped on the jogger’s lower leg and either scratched or bit him, police said.

At 4:15 p.m., a fox attacked a 13-year-old boy in the 12000 block of Oakhampton Terrace, police said. Two officers investigating that attack were directed by neighbors to the fox. As the officers approached the animal, it ran up one of the officer’s legs. The police officer was able to shake the fox loose, and the officer shot and killed the animal, police said.

The officer was treated for exposure to the animal at a local hospital and on Saturday started the anti-rabies shot treatment, Lt. Rick Schurz said yesterday.

He said police do not know whether the fox the officers killed is the same fox in the other attacks.

Police had not received any reports of fox attacks yesterday, but as a precautionary measure Animal Protection Officers planned to keep their traps in place and will continue patrolling the area, Schurz said.

Copyright 2008 The Richmond Times-Dispatch

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