Aggressive fox alarms Albany firefighters -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Aggressive fox alarms Albany firefighters

A warning for folks in Albany after a fox went after a firefighter. It was an unusual sight that threw up red flags. Officials believe the fox could have some sort of disease, even rabies. With kids and pets out playing this summer, authorities want folks to be on alert.

Albany firefighters at Station 4 on West Gordon Avenue are on alert and they want surrounding residents to be as well, after they spotted a fox Tuesday around 7pm, showing aggressive behavior.

"The fox tried to approach him, came towards him. Of course he backed away from it and the fox continued to try to circle around him. It really wasn't acting what we consider normal actions of a wild animal, so it raised concerns," said Chief James Carswell with the Albany Fire Department.

The firefighters took pictures of the fox and notified DNR and animal control, but it eventually ran off into the woods.

"Hopefully it will be captured or unfortunately killed in this case. But until that point we want everybody to be aware that the situation exists in that area and to be careful," said Chief Carswell.
Video, from March, shows a fox in the backyard of a house on Gillionville Road. It's suspected of having distemper, not rabies. 

"The symptoms are pretty much the same, disorientation, uncharacteristic behavior. But the only way that we can rule out and tell for sure is to have the rabies testing done," said James Davis, the Dougherty County Environmental Health County Manager.
Health officials say distemper is more prevalent than rabies, but with summer in full swing, folks need to be cautious.

"Bite cases themselves are starting to increase and that's because everybody is out and we're being forced to share the same wooded areas, same walking trails. So just protect yourself," said Davis.

And stay away from wild animals.

"They need to avoid it by all means and call animal control, DNR to come take care of it. But the bottom line is, under normal conditions a wild animal, particularly a fox will run away from you.  If they're acting aggressive or coming towards you, that's not normal behavior for a fox and so stay away from it," said Chief Carswell.

One raccoon and three foxes have tested positive for rabies in Dougherty County in the last two years.

If you're bitten by an animal that could have rabies, you have to be treated right away, because it is deadly. "By the time the symptoms show up for rabies, it's too late. As soon as you're exposed to a rabid animal we have to start you on the series immediately," said Davis.

Distemper cannot be transferred to humans.



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