Skip to main content

A wild fox in Anoka County has tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the first confirmed case for any wild mammal in the state. 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said on Wednesday the case was confirmed earlier this week. The DNR added that the fox is a kit, otherwise known as a baby fox.

Last week, two red fox kits in Ontario, Canada tested positive for HPAI. Those positive results marked the first reported cases of the current outbreak of the contagious sickness in a wild mammal in North America.

This year's HPAI strain is more aggressive, according to the DNR, and has caused more deaths amongst domestic poultry and wild birds than the previous strain in 2015.

“Testing in Minnesota has confirmed HPAI in nearly 200 wild birds, including 19 species of birds, primarily waterfowl and raptors,” said Michelle Carstensen, the DNR’s wildlife health program supervisor, in a statement provided Wednesday.

The agency is still learning about this strain and its effects on wildlife. The DNR coordinates "bird sampling efforts" with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Raptor Center, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota, Wild and Free, and other wildlife rehabilitation centers.

Last week, a female great horned owl returned to the wild after she made an "exceptional" recovery from the strain. Over 100 raptors at the Raptor Center have tested positive for HPAI since late March, Bring Me The News previously reported.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.

IMG_3509

Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.

14869-Manitou-Road-NE-Prior-Lake-MN-55372-6110268-image37

Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.

Related

Owl

MN owl returned to the wild after rare recovery from avian flu

The great horned owl released Wednesday is the Raptor Center's first patient to recover from HPAI.

chickens

Avian influenza confirmed in two Minnesota poultry flocks

Bird flu (H5N1) has been confirmed in two poultry flocks in Minnesota.

turkeys

Minnesota bans poultry exhibitions over avian flu concerns

Five producers in five Minnesota counties are confirmed to have HPAI.

avian influenza

Minnesota up to 13 poultry flocks infected with avian influenza

It means more than 581,000 birds will be killed.

avian influenza

More than 1 million birds affected as avian influenza spreads in Minnesota

More than 9 million birds were euthanized during the 2015 outbreak in Minnesota.

Owl

New Raptor Center data shows 'substantial drop' in bird flu patients

However, the virus remains a serious health threat for birds.

Bald Eagle - HPAI

New data highlights rising toll of avian flu on Minnesota's raptors

Over 30 great horned owls have succumbed to the virus.