During a string of seven fox sightings over several hours in Whitman yesterday, a fox bit one woman in her buttocks and a man in his foot, police said.
“There’s probably more than one,” said Whitman police Officer Frank O’Rourke. “The way they were traveling last night, this fox had to have his best Nike sneakers on to travel that fast.”
A fox was first seen just before 2 p.m. on Brigham Street, where six toddlers played in a residential backyard. The home’s owner, Tom Shannon, said the fox was lying in the shade of his pop-up camper.
“I’ve seen [the fox] two or three times before,” Shannon said, “but always at night and never this close.”
About 30 minutes later, a fox startled a woman in her Franklin Street backyard. She threw a bag of fertilizer at it, scaring it away.
Down the street, less than an hour later, a woman was waxing her car when she was bit in the buttocks, piercing her skin. She received nine rabies shots yesterday as a precaution, O’Rourke said.
Robert Hammond, the town’s animal control officer, believes there's a den in the area, and one of the foxes has "gone bad."
"All the symptoms say to me that it's rabies," he said.
Hammond spotted a fox tearing apart a plastic chair yesterday. He set three traps this morning.
Four more sightings, two on Winter Street, one on Hickey Hollow Lane, and one on Franklin Street, came within the next six hours. In one case, a fox bit a man’s foot, but did not break through his sneaker.
Although O’Rourke said the town is home to several foxes, usually weighing between 5 and 10 pounds, he has never heard of an attack during his 35 years of duty.
“But not even on my best days would I trust one,” he said.
On the beat
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