DC Fox Caught on Capitol Grounds Euthanized, Tested Positive for Rabies

Photo: Capitol Police

The DC fox, which reportedly bit multiple people in the area of the Capitol grounds including a California congressman, has been euthanized. Officials have also determined that the fox had rabies.

The D.C. public health lab "confirmed the fox that was captured yesterday tested positive for the rabies virus," says D.C. Health in a statement.

Officials say they have "confirmed" that 9 people were bitten by the fox. After it was captured on Tuesday, the red fox was "humanely euthanized" so that it could be tested for rabies. In order to test the animal for rabies, it must be euthanized so that brain tissue samples can be evaluated.

Health officials are now conducting outreach to the 9 people who were bitten.

The fox's offspring were also captured Wednesday morning, but it's unclear at this time what will be done with them. Officials say that it is not unusual for a mother fox to become aggressive to protect its offspring, but that this fox in particular was much more aggressive than normal for its species.

A wildlife program manager noted that this fox was "traveling blocks to attack people."

California Congress Representative Ami Bera says he was bitten by the fox Monday afternoon. He claims his pant leg was punctured but did see any blood or puncture wounds in his skin. Regardless, he went to Walter Reed Medical Center and began a treatment of 10 shots, including immunoglobulin shots and a tetanus shot.

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