Woman Bit by Rabid Fox in Mt. Pleasant, Props to Animal Control


Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

Yesterday @prestonrhea sent word via twitter:

“Today’s Mount Pleasant listserv: a potentially rabid fox seems to have wandered around NW MtP and bit a woman in the ankle.”

And this morning I received the following email:

Dear PoPville,

Just a word of caution to PoPville- watch out for foxes near rock creek park. My friend was walking with her baby yesterday on Tilden Rd in Mount Pleasant on her way towards Rock Creek and a fox attacked her. She said the lone fox came out of nowhere and went straight for her ankle. Her husband was with her and was able to beat it off and animal control eventually caught it in someone’s front yard. She ended up in urgent care receiving at least 20 injections, one for each bite wound and she’ll need to go back for at least 5 more follow up injections. Her leg is pretty messed up. Thankfully, the baby is fine.

29 Comment

  • I’m so sorry that this happened, but I’m trying to figure out where. Tilden is east of the park. Park Rd. is west. So was it really Mt. P or was it nearer to Pierce Mill?

    • Reverse that: Tilden is west; Park is east.

    • Sounds like a frightening event & I hope she recovers quickly.

      Tilden Rd isn’t in Mt Pleasant.

    • It was on the Klingle Rd, Rosemount Ave tringle. The fox was actually taken by animal control (not caught as it was on the floor, not really able to walk) in one of the Rosemount houses’ front yard.

      • “Not really able to walk”… Uh oh. That’s not a good sign.

        I always roll my eyes whenever some hysterical pearl-clutcher cites rabies as a reason to sanitize the out-of-doors of all its original inhabitants, but in the case of a fox which attacked unprovoked and was unsteady on its feet right after… Not good.

  • How is this “Props to Animal Control”…?

  • Eep.. Glad to hear the baby is ok. Do you know what time it happened?

    I’ve seen a fox in the Melvin Hazen Trail area in Cleveland Park (it was around 9:00AM).

  • how do you join the Mt. P listserv?

  • I see “foxes” on the metro almost every day. They’re more noticable in the spring and summer.

  • The headline here says it’s rabid, but I don’t think we know that yet.

    If they caught the fox, they are presumably testing the brain tissue for the rabies virus. It’s likely positive, but if not, the mom can cease the rabies vaccine treatments.

  • Our neighborhood (13th and t) has a large red fox roaming around for the past three days. It looks to be about 30 pounds and is scaring all of our dogs to death. We called Animal Control, and they said they couldn’t help us because a) the fox is in its natural habitat here in DC; and b) unless it’s in our house, it isn’t Animal Control’s responsibility. Helpful.

    • Animal control has previously said to me that anything on private property isn’t their problem either. Seems that they have constructed business rules that allow them to get out of all situations!

    • I can’t imagine its “scaring” any dogs.. North American red foxes weigh on average between 6-24lbs. The vast majority of canines would like nothing more that to give chase to one.

    • If you’ve seen it for 3 days, its probably not rabid.

    • We are on 13th btw S and T and we saw that fox twice in our backyard on Saturday – we called Animal Control and they said the same thing. Our dog is defiitely freaked out by it.

  • We had a rabid raccoon captured in our backyard (northern 16th St Heights) just a month or so ago, and have seen foxes outside in the middle of the day as recently as a few days ago. I’m concerned that there’s a bigger issue w rabid animals in Rock Creek Park.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing more foxes in DC. They are extremely adaptable to urban environments. London has an estimated population of 10,000 foxes.

    • It’s funny, I was just reading about a couple in London whose baby was attacked by a fox, and wondering whether we had a similar problem in DC. I know that out in the surrounding burbs there are plenty of them.

  • I’ve seen a fox by the Tennis Courts at RCP. Wonder if it was the same one…

  • At about 1:30 PM-1:40 PM, Tuesday, February 12, 2013, was sitting on a bench at the bus stop at 19th Street and Park Road, NW. I was facing traffic going east and west on Park Road, NW. My back was situated in front of a small wooded area, on the northeast corner of Park Road and 19th Street, NW. I observed a white van, with the DC city logo on it. The driver was traveling east on 19th Street. He crossed 19th Street and suddenly stopped about 2 or 3 car lengths, away.The driver of the white van who appeared to be a city worker, spoke to me in a calm but firm voice. He said lady, you need to move, a fox is about to pounce on you. I turned my head and over my left shoulder, I saw this fox staring straight at me, only about 2 yards away. I stood up, turned around stomped my foot and yelled “get away.” The fox kept advancing towards me. I then ran out into traffic towards the white van. Only then did the fox turn and retreat back into the wooded area. The man driving the van said that the animal appeared to be wounded and possibly could be rabid. He said that in such cases, the fox is most likely to attack. I was very rattled. So I continued to walk up towards Mount Pleasant Street. I was afraid to walk back to my home, which was close to the place I saw the fox. As I was walking, I saw the van circle around the block 2 or 3 times. The driver asked me if I was ok, twice. At about 3:35-4:00 PM, I returned home and immediately called 311. I was connected to Animal Control and spoke to a person who identified himself as Derrick. I reported the sighting of the fox. He said he would take care of it. First I am so sorry that the woman was bitten and I am happy that the baby was unharmed. Second I want to thank the gentleman in the white, city van for his help. I was too upset at the time to get any information from him. But I certainly thank him.

    • anon. gardener

      Wow, that is crazy. You must be so glad you’re not getting shots right now!

      I thought rabies was more prevalent in the summer. Seems weird to have rabid animals popping up in Feb.

  • I live next to RCP and foxes are very common, not usually “a problem” (come on, this is their habitat…how is that a problem?) and often visible only at night. We can hear their babies in the summertime and we see them patrolling the alley at night, hopefully keeping the rat population under control. The designation of DC as a city doesn’t preclude wildlife, people. Nor should it.

  • I saw that fox on Sunday at Porter and Klingle in Rock Creek. He got really close to people and a runner on the trail stopped to call Animal Control. Glad they caught him but too bad the woman fot bitten.

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