SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A fox that attacked at least five people in South Portland Tuesday morning before police caught and killed it tested positive for rabies, Lt. Todd Bernard of the South Portland Police Department confirmed Wednesday.
The animal’s body was sent to the Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory in Augusta to be tested for the disease after the fox was dispatched Tuesday by Animal Control Officer Corey Hamilton. By Wednesday afternoon, the results of those tests were available.
Bernard said police have concerns that the fox, which was aggressive toward humans during an active six-hour period Tuesday, may have infected other animals in the area during its rampage. He urged South Portland residents to remain on the lookout for unusual behavior among area foxes or other wildlife.
“While we did shoot a rabid fox, that doesn’t mean it was the only one out there,” he said.
The fox was finally cornered after terrorizing individuals in the Long Creek and Clarks Pond areas of the city just before noon on Tuesday at 210 Western Ave., where the animal was trapped in an enclosed foyer area after chasing a man into the building.
Hamilton responded to the scene, captured the fox in a noose, took it into the woods and shot it.
The animal had previously attacked at least four other people. At approximately 6 a.m., it reportedly leaped into the cab of a pickup truck at the South Portland Home Depot and bit the arm of a contractor.
Within the following hour, police received reports that a fox had also attacked a jogger on the Clarks Pond walking trails and two homeless individuals camped out in the Long Creek area.
One of the homeless victims bitten was transported to Maine Medical Center for treatment, according to police.