Update: Two people were actually bitten by a fox near a south Minneapolis lake recently, and the city is now testing the fox it captured and euthanized for rabies.
In a news release Wednesday afternoon, the City of Minneapolis updated the number of fox-bite victims near Lake Harriet over the past two days to two: One around noon Tuesday, the second around 5:15 a.m. Wednesday.
The fox they think is the culprit was captured later that morning (which you can read more about below) and euthanized. They’re now running tests to see if the fox was infected with rabies – results will take a couple days to come in.
You can read the original story below.
Animal control in Minneapolis have captured a fox suspected of biting a woman near Lake Harriet on Tuesday.
The City of Minneapolis announced the animal – which was “showing symptoms associated with rabies” – was captured at 8:15 a.m.
It has been “humanely” euthanized and will now be tested for rabies.
Although they are pretty sure they got the right fox, authorities are warning there’s no way to be certain.
“As a result, the victim in the case will need to receive post-exposure vaccinations to ensure she’s fully protected,” the announcement said, adding: “City officials want to understand whether or not this fox was afflicted with the disease to help protect residents, visitors and pets.”
The incident happened at the corner of Lake Harriet Parkway and West Minnehaha Parkway. Anyone who sees a fox in the Lake Harriet area should call 311 immediately, and are urged not to approach the animal.
Foxes in Minneapolis
The Minnesota DNR says that red fox is a common sight across Minnesota, including in the Twin Cities metro area. They live in ground dens and brush piles, and they tend to be more active at night.
They are described as “opportunists” that eat rats, mice, rabbits, ground squirrels, birds, snakes, fish, insects, berries, nuts and seeds, as well as uneaten food left as litter.
According to the Humane Society, foxes normally don’t present any threat to humans, as they have a “natural fear” of people and during the way will usually run away once they detect your presence.
However, some foxes may have learned to associate people with food, and as a result may “exhibit a boldness or even approach you.”
The society suggests making loud noises, such as yelling or blowing whistles, dousing them with water hoses or squirt guns, or throwing objects such as tennis balls at them.