A yawning gray fox, northern Florida

A yawning gray fox, northern Florida

Animal Control Officers responded to a report of fox acting abnormally in the area of the South Run/Burke Lake Trail area near the South Run Recreational facility on July 1 at around 7 p.m.

A young fox reportedly ran towards people in the wooded area adjacent to the trail, and ran towards a dog and his owner. The owner fell, lost his hat and the fox was distracted by the hat, enabling the man and dog to flee. Animal control officers searched the area for the fox and eventually were able to locate and euthanize a fox in a safe manner. The fox was vocalizing and showing clear signs of rabies; subsequent lab tests proved positive for rabies. While there is no way to determine whether or not this is the specific fox involved, it is likely. This is very near the same area where a woman was injured by a rabid raccoon on June 10, 2015. The raccoon, believed to be responsible for the attack in that case, was later captured and determined to be rabid.

Out of an abundance of caution, health and animal control officials are asking anyone who may have had contact with a fox in this area to contact Bryant Bullock, Environmental Health, 571-274-2296.

More information on the rabies virus, exposure prevention tips, and what to do if an animal bites is available: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd/rabies/