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Fox attacks three people in Merrimack, bites two

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent

September 08. 2017 5:36PM


MERRIMACK — Police are on the hunt for a likely rabid, aggressive fox that attacked three people Friday in Merrimack.

The three victims encountered the animal at separate times of the day on Friday, and two of them required medical attention after being bitten, according to police.

“Right now we are trying to look out for the safety of everyone,” said Lt. Denise Roy of the Merrimack Police Department.

The first attack occurred around 4 a.m. on Cedar Lane. A man was exiting his vehicle when the fox “came out of nowhere and attacked him,” said Roy, adding the man tried to ward the animal off but it kept coming back.

A few hours later a person was jogging when the animal came out of the woods and attacked. The third incident took place about 1 p.m. when another jogger was attacked by the fox, according to police.

The attacks occurred on Camp Sargent Road, Whittier Road and Cedar Lane. Two of the victims sustained puncture wounds to the skin from the animal.

“Generally foxes don’t attack unless they have some sort of disease,” said Roy, which was the major concern on Friday afternoon as school was letting out.

Schools were notified of the attacks, along with representatives from the bus company, and were urged to be alert for anything out of the ordinary.

Police spent several hours on Friday searching for the fox, however they were unable to locate it as of 3 p.m. Officials from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department were on their way to assist local authorities in finding the animal.

“We would have to destroy it,” Roy said, explaining the animal would have to be taken to a safe location and shot because of its aggressive nature. It would then be tested for rabies, she said.

Roy urged the public to be cautious, stressing that children should be supervised while outside in the areas of Camp Sargent Road, Whittier Road and Cedar Lane — on the back side of Merrimack Premium Outlets and Fidelity Investment’s campus.

Each attack took place within a residential area, according to Roy, who said police are hoping to locate the animal soon. She said that although police cannot yet confirm that the fox is rabid, they do suspect that it is, stressing that rabies can be contracted by humans through puncture wounds to the skin.

“If it does have rabies we do have a concern,” said Roy.

She warned residents not to take matters into their own hands. If they spot the fox, they are asked not to approach it and call police immediately at 424-3774 to report the sighting.

khoughton@newstote.com


Health Public Safety Animals Merrimack