MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The City of Minneapolis confirmed Wednesday that Animal Care and Control officers captured and killed the fox suspected of biting a woman near Lake Harriet on Tuesday.
City officials confirm a second person was bit by a fox around 5:15 a.m. Wednesday in the same area.
Animal control officers found the fox around 8:15 a.m. Wednesday and said it had symptoms of rabies. The fox was euthanized and will be tested.
“It concerned us, that’s for sure, definitely suspicious behavior,” said Caroline Hairfield, the Deputy Director of Minneapolis Animal Care and Control.
“He was visible and he was also symptomatic,” she explained. “He was not afraid of people and at one point he did actually come up to our animal control vehicle and that’s what really enabled them to be able to catch it."
Cynthia Obmoin was bit near the corner of Lake Harriet Parkway and West Minnehaha Parkway. The bite was not severe and the woman was treated at a hospital and released. She will still need to receive post-exposure vaccinations to ensure she’s fully protected.
“Ah, it’s fine,” she told Fox 9 when asked how the vaccination process went. “Just a little sore, but yeah it’s ok. Better safe than sorry.”
Obmoin was taking her bike out of her car when she felt something brush up against her leg, she says she didn’t see anything approach her, but once she turned around she was bit on her lower left leg. According to the incident report, the fox held onto her leg and didn’t let go. Obmoin says the fox circled around her car after it eventually let go of her leg and then it disappeared into a nearby wooded area.
City officials say they want to understand whether or not this fox had the disease to help protect residents, visitors and pets. Rabies in land mammals is rare in Minneapolis. If the fox did have rabies, it's possible it gave it to other animals, people in the area should be on alert for signs of rabies in other animals. The results of the test will not be available for up to two days.