Human Interest

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Woman Walks More Than a Mile With Rabid Fox Biting Her Arm

November 06, 2008 04:33 PM
by Denis Cummings
An Arizona woman was jogging when she was attacked by a rabid fox, one of two sensational attacks by rabid foxes this week.

Rabid Foxes Attack

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Michelle Felicepta, a 30-year-old Chino Valley, Ariz. resident, was attacked by a rabid fox while jogging on Monday afternoon. The fox bit her on the foot and knee, and then, as Felicepta tried to pull it off, it bit her arm and held on.

“I was choking him with my right hand and each time I (loosened) up my grip a little, he got a little bit of air and he'd start thrashing around and kind of screaming,” Felicepta said.

Believing that the fox was rabid and would need to be tested, she decided to take it back to her car rather than try to remove it. She walked a mile and a half with the fox biting her arm. When she finally reached her car, she was able to wrestle the fox off her arm and into her trunk.

She drove to a hospital where an animal control officer was called to remove the fox from the trunk. The fox bit the officer on the arm before being captured and tested. A lab in Phoenix later confirmed that the fox has rabies. Felicepta will need five shots over the next few weeks while the officer will need two or three; he had already received a pre-exposure rabies vaccination.

In South Carolina, 9-year-old Brody Padoll and a neighboring man were attacked by a rabid fox that followed the boy to the bus stop. The man, Jeff Davis, called for Padoll to come into his house, but the fox bit him as he was running into the house. Twenty minutes later, Davis went outside to look for the fox and was attacked.

The fox ran inside the house where Davis was able to lock him in a computer room. The fox thrashed around the room and eventually fell asleep on a dog bed. Davis and Padoll will both require rabies shots.

In response to the attacks, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) put out a press release warning residents of rabid animals. “Avoid wild animals acting tame and tame animals acting wild,” said Sue Ferguson of the DHEC.

Background: When animals attack

Felicepta, Davis and Padoll are just three of millions who have survived attacks by animals. Animal Planet’s “After the Attack” retells many of the most sensational attacks. Host Dave Salmoni explains how best to survive an attack by a number of large wild animals, such as cougars, wolves and moose.

Worst-Case Scenarios explains how to deal with a variety of unfortunate situations, including animal attacks. The Web site explains how to survive attacks by exotic animals like sharks, alligators and piranha, but “The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook” contains information on more everyday animals.

Reference: Rabies

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