Michael R. Kent
Chief of Police
45 Center Street
Burlington, MA 01803
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Fox Captured After Burlington Attack Tests Positive for Rabies
BURLINGTON — Police Chief Michael Kent and the Burlington Police Department are issuing an alert after a Fox that most likely was responsible for attacks on three residents yesterday has tested positive for rabies.
The fox was shot and killed by a Burlington Police Officer after three separate attacks on residents were reported. The animal was taken to a state lab which reported today to Burlington Police that the fox was rabid.
Anyone who may have come into contact with a Fox recently or anyone who was attacked or bitten by a Fox is urged to seek medical treatment. Anyone with any questions or concerns should call the Burlington Animal Control Officer at 781-270-1698 or via email at [email protected].
Summary of Facts:
On Tuesday, May 1, at 8:20 a.m., a female Leopold Street resident reported that she was attacked by a Fox, which she fought off with a plastic bat, causing the animal to run off.
A fox, likely the same animal, then attacked a second woman who was walking her daughter to the bus stop nearby. The second victim was bitten on both legs. She sought medical treatment on her own, and the fox ran into the nearby woods.
The town’s animal control officer responded with Burlington Police officers, but the animal was not found.
At 2 p.m., a third woman was attacked outside her home on Cresthaven Drive. She notified a police officer who was working a detail nearby. The woman was bitten on the foot and was transported to a nearby hospital by ambulance. The officer checked the woman’s yard and soon spotted the fox. The animal began to approach the officer in an aggressive manner. The officer responded by discharging his weapon and subsequently killing the fox and ending the threat.
The two bite victims have been notified and will continue an ongoing series of rabies vaccinations.
Officials are confident that the attacks were carried out by a single animal but urge caution around wildlife. Healthy foxes can be seen during the daytime (unlike raccoons, where daytime sightings are concerning) and will generally avoid humans. Out of the ordinary or aggressive behavior should immediately be reported to Burlington Animal Control. Residents who experience an animal attack or an animal-related emergency can always call 911.