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Fox That Attacked Two In Minneapolis Positive For Rabies

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A fox that reportedly attacked two people near Lake Harriet in Minneapolis this week has tested positive for rabies, local officials stated.

The animal was captured Wednesday morning after it had gotten its teeth into the leg of the second of its victims while out for a run on the lake’s south shore. The fox was subsequently euthanized, reports Star Tribune.

Authorities from Minneapolis Animal Care and Control located the fox near the Lake Harriet and West Minnehaha parkways, just a block away from it had pounced on its first victim. At the time of capture, the fox was aggressive and showed symptoms of rabies, but was brought to the University of Minnesota for testing and confirmation.

The year-old female fox weighed under 10 pounds. Anyone who had come into contact with the animal got a series of anti-rabies vaccines.

Susan Obmoin of Eagan, 51 years old, was taking her bicycle off her vehicle when she felt something close in on her feet. When she looked down, it was the fox, and it held on for about eight seconds. Eagan screamed for help as she attempted to pry the fox off, and people rushed to help her, pouring water on her bleeding bites before she drove to the hospital.

No less than 12 hours after the attack, Michael Steilen was taking his daily jog around the lake when he stopped to stretch. He felt a bite on his left leg and had to kick the fox to make it let go. When the animal began to charge, he took off at a run.

Foxes are common in the area, according to residents, and noted that a woman in the neighborhood might actually be feeding and allowing foxes to live outside her home.

Caroline Hairfield, deputy director of Animal Control, says rabid foxes are rare in Minneapolis, and foxes don’t usually approach humans.

Animal Control responders have been monitoring the area of attack, and the department intends to look into illegal harboring of foxes.

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