VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Officials say the fox that attacked two people in Virginia Beach over the weekend has tested positive for rabies.
Andrew Arroyo said the fox was hiding on a patio. At one point, a woman stepped out her front door and was immediately attacked and bitten by the fox.
Several neighbors tried to watch the fox and keep it in one area so they would know where it was once Animal Control arrived.
A second man was bitten. Then the fox went after a third person who was prepared and carrying a pole.
“He luckily was able to fight the fox off and then he was able to kill the fox,” said Arroyo.
Animal Control took the fox, which will be sent away to be tested. City officials confirmed Wednesday the animal did in fact have rabies.
Evelyn Flengas, a local wildlife rehabilitator, said stories of foxes with rabies are more common during the spring and summer.
“It loses all fear of humans,” said Flengas of rabid foxes. “And it gets very agitated.”
She said people should be cautious if you see foxes, or even raccoons, especially if they are getting closer to you. She added, you might see a fox during the day this time of year. Just because the animal is out in daylight, doesn’t mean it’s rabid. The animal is usually just searching for food. The moment the fox doesn’t run from a human is a time to be concerned.
When the Animal Control officer arrived, Arroyo said she acknowledged setting traps in the neighborhood in hopes of catching the fox. Neighbors were concerned they didn’t know about the threat of the animal until it attacked.
Emergency Communications and Citizen Services supervisor, Tonya Baker, said Animal Control will only notify residents if someone has been bitten or if the animal is known to be dangerous.