South Portland police shoot possibly rabid fox believed responsible for five Tuesday morning attacks

Posted July 30, 2013, at 4:25 p.m.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — South Portland police on Tuesday found and killed a fox believed to have attacked five people in the Clark’s Pond and Long Creek area of the city.

Police Lt. Todd Bernard said the final attack was reported at a business at 210 Western Ave., where an employee was chased inside the building. The man was scratched on his hand by the fox, but he trapped the animal in the building foyer and called police.

Bernard said Animal Control Officer Corey Hamilton secured the fox with a noose, a “pole device used to secure dangerous dogs,” before it was taken to the woods and shot by police.

The fox’s remains were sent to Augusta for testing at the Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory. In order to test for rabies, animals suspected of carrying the virus must be killed.

All five attacks were reported to police during a six-hour period Tuesday.

The first incident occurred at 6 a.m., when the fox reportedly jumped into a pickup truck and bit a man parked outside Home Depot in the Clark’s Pond area.

Bernard said a jogger then told police who were investigating the first attack that he was attacked on Clark’s Pond Trail, but was able to kick the fox away and was not harmed.

At 7 a.m., police received a call from a passerby who reported two people camping in the Long Creek area off Western Avenue were bitten by the fox. One of the victims was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland for treatment.

Police continue to ask anyone who sees a fox in the areas of Long Creek, Clark’s Pond, the Maine Mall or Western Avenue to call 911 or 799-5511.

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