Fox that bit nine people, including congressman, near U.S. Capitol had rabies

An aggressive fox that had attacked at least nine people on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol had rabies, health officials announced Wednesday.

The female fox was captured Tuesday after reports of several attacks and was later euthanized so testing could be done.

The fox was responsible for biting at least nine people. Photo: U.S. Capitol Police/Twitter

“The DC Public Health lab has confirmed the fox that was captured yesterday tested positive for the rabies virus,” the department said in a statement Wednesday. “DC Health is contacting all human victims who were bitten by the fox.”

The animal’s kits were also found and captured. What happens to them in unclear.

The department said it is “working to determine next steps for the fox kits.”

It added no other foxes were found in the area, and there’s no plan for a mass roundup of foxes, which are frequently spotted around Washington.

The aggressive fox turned out to be rabid. Photo: U.S. Capitol Police/Twitter

Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif. said he was bitten on his leg on the way office Monday. Bera, who is also a medical doctor, initially made light of the incident.

“Thanks everyone for the well wishes! I feel healthy and am glad to be back at work. Despite the dustup, I hold no grudge or ill will against @thecapitolfox,” he tweeted, adding he hopes the fox and family are relocated.

He even snapped a photo of the perpetrator.

Of course, rabies is a fatal disease once symptoms develop and no laughing matter.

And while Dr. Bera doesn’t know for sure if it was the rabid fox that nipped at him, he is undergoing a regime of rabies prophylaxis treatment, which involves a series of shots.

Meanwhile, DC Public Health is asking anyone who has come into contact with the fox or its babies to reach out. Rabies exposure requires immediate treatment. Flyers are also being posted in the area to find other potential victims.

Politico reporter Ximena Bustillo said she is one such victim of the fox, and has been tweeting developments in the story.

The fox’s Twitter account posted an ode to her moment in the spotlight.

“Gone but not forgotten,” it read. “May you remember me fondly.”

And, naturally other tributes poured in.

RIP Capitol fox.

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.