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Capitol Hill Fox Responsible For Multiple Bites Is Euthanised

Capitol Hill Fox Responsible For Multiple Bites Is Euthanised

US Capitol police revealed the female fox had been captured on Tuesday a day after it bit a Congressional lawmaker on the leg

The Capitol Hill fox responsible for at least nine bites met its maker yesterday, 5 April.

US Capitol police announced the female fox had been captured on Tuesday after it bit a Congressional lawmaker on the leg.

The animal was subsequently put down to allow for rabies testing. The only way to test for rabies in foxes is to test their brain, which requires them to be euthanised.

DC Health officials said about the incident: “The fox responsible for nine confirmed bites on Capitol Hill yesterday was captured and humanely euthanized so that rabies testing may be done.

A fox responsible for at least nine bites has been euthanised.
Twitter/Capitol Police

“The fox was an adult female, and her kits were found and captured this morning.

“At this time, officials are working to determine next steps for the fox kits,” they added.

“No other foxes were found on the Capitol Hill grounds, but it would not be uncommon to see more as there are many present throughout the District.”

Police first warned staffers and lawmakers in the Capitol to not approach any foxes on Tuesday afternoon.

They tweeted at the time: “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.”

Two hours later they announced on social media that animal control officers had found the fox and shared several photos of it in a crate with the caption, 'Captured'.

Capitol Police enlisted the help of animal welfare officers.
Twitter/Capitol Police

Representative Ami Bera, a Democrat from California, initially revealed on Twitter that he was in fact the lawmaker who had been bitten by the fox near the Russell office building.

Speaking to reporters following the 'unprovoked attack', he said: "I didn’t see it and all of a sudden I felt something lunge at the back of my leg."

The congressman, who is a doctor, said he grabbed his umbrella and turned around in a bid to frighten the animal away.

He continued: “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.”

The congressman added that he initially didn’t get a rabies shot as the fox bite had not punctured his skin.

Representative Bera was one of the people bitten by the fox.
Twitter/Scott Wong

However, he eventually went to Walter Reed Hospital on Monday night to receive the appropriate shots out of caution.

“I expect to get attacked if I go on Fox News, I don’t expect to get attacked by a fox,” he joked.

Representative Bera wasn’t the only one speaking about their experience with the fox, as Politico reporter Ximena Bustillo also revealed she had been bitten by the animal, The Independent reports.

The Humane Society says foxes are afraid of humans. They are more likely to run away than attack and don’t present a danger unless they are rabid, have been captured or handled.

However, foxes in cities and urban areas may associate humans with food and act more boldly.

The Humane Society adds that you should make loud noises, throw water or a small object at them should you need to scare them away.

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Featured Image Credit: @CapitolPolice/Twitter

Topics: US News, Politics, Animals