RABID Capitol Hill fox euthanized after attacking nine people including Ami Bera
A fox that has bitten at least nine people on Capitol Hill and humanely euthanized for rabies testing, turned out to be positive for the viral disease. The wild animal was captured on Tuesday, April 5, after it bit a Congressman on the leg.
“The D.C. Public Health Lab has confirmed the fox that was captured yesterday tested positive for the rabies virus,” a statement from the DC Health agency said. Earlier, the agency had stated, "The fox responsible for nine confirmed bites on Capitol Hill yesterday was captured and humanely euthanized so that rabies testing may be done. The fox was an adult female and her kits were found and captured this morning.” The agency further added, "At this time, officials are working to determine next steps for the fox kits."
A Democrat from California, Representative Ami Bera, who had been a part of an 'unprovoked' encounter with the animal near the Russell office building, told reporters, "I didn’t see it and all of a sudden I felt something lunge at the back of my leg." He explained how he tackled the fox by grabbing his umbrella and spinning it around in an attempt to frighten the animal away. He added, "Someone was like ‘hey a fox is attacking that guy. Capitol police came out and then the fox ran away. It was the most bizarre day in Congress.” Bera is a doctor and initially, he did not get a rabies shot as he had not punctured his skin but eventually decided to get one as a precautionary measure.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the status of other bite victims is still unknown. Treatments for the viral disease, which can be fatal, should be started “as soon as possible after exposure.”
Meanwhile, the euthanasia of the fox has caused an outpouring of sorrow among netizens. CNN reporter Kristin Wilson said in a tweet, "If anyone sees another fox on Capitol Hill, let’s all agree to not say a word about it, ok?"
If anyone sees another fox on Capitol Hill, let's all agree to not say a word about it, ok?— Kristin Wilson (@kristin__wilson) April 6, 2022
Garrett Hake from NBC News said, "Capitol Hill Fox, we hardly knew you."
Capitol Hill Fox, we hardly knew you. https://t.co/8yTAlWd5rC— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) April 6, 2022
Politicians and staffers on Capitol Hill have been alerted to be on lookout for "aggressive fox encounters”. The police department then collared the animal. From the official account, they tweeted saying, "We have received several reports of aggressive fox encounters on or near the grounds of the US Capitol. For your safety, please do not approach any foxes. Animal Control Officers are working to trap and relocate any foxes they find."
We have received several reports of aggressive fox encounters on or near the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) April 5, 2022
For your safety, please do not approach any foxes.
Animal Control Officers are working to trap and relocate any foxes they find.