Rabid fox attacks two in Crisp County - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Rabid fox attacks two in Crisp County

June 18, 2007

Warwick -- Cordele resident George Gay was assisting with a summer day camp last week in Crisp County when a fox emerged from the woods in broad daylight.

" It was about 10:30 or 11 o'clock in the morning. And I thought it was mighty unusual for a fox to be out at that time of the day," says Gay.

Typically a nocturnal animal, foxes are also known to carry rabies. This particular fox approached the crowded grounds at Camp Houston just outside of Warwick before randomly attacking a young boy playing kickball with other children. George Gay recalls the shocking event.

 " It just singled the kid out. It ran up and bit it on the back of the leg. The kid fell down, then the fox bit him on the other leg."

An adult volunteer at the camp ran to the rescue, pulling the fox off of the young victim. The fox bit him as well.

Camp volunteers quickly captured the fox in a trash bin while the two victims were taken to a local medical facility. Volunteers remain fearful of the animals violent behavior.

 " You could tell that fox was sick. It wasn't acting right, it acted sick, you could tell," adds Gay.

A Crisp County Sheriff Animal Control Unit responded to the call where an officer destroyed the fox on the scene.

Sheriff Donnie Haralson of the Crisp County Sheriff Office says, "We were able to get the fox and have it sent for testing. And it did come back positive for rabies."

The Crisp County Health Department informed the two victims that the fox tested positive for rabies and advised them of the proper treatment to avoid rabies.

According to eyewitnesses the fox emerged from the woods here and ran under a RV before it proceeded to attack the child playing kickball. But DNR officials warn, anytime a nocturnal animal such as a fox or a raccoon appears during the daytime, it's not always good sign."

 " What look for in those animals is unusual behavior as far as aggression goes. In that case the animal attack children or things that were much larger than itself. So a lot of time with rabies animals you see them attack humans or domestic animals a lot larger than themselves," says Julie Robbins of the Georgia DNR.

And while the attacks are unusual, wildlife officials urge everyone to be cautious of any strange behaving animal.

Owners of Camp Houston, where the attack took place say that an incident like this has never occurred at the facility and that measures are always taken to ensure the safety of campers.

DNR officials say that the most common carriers of rabies are raccoons, coyotes, bats, skunks, as well as foxes.

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