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Authorities test fox for rabies after it bit 5-year-old girl

Union Leader Correspondent

April 11. 2014 8:29PM
This fox was euthanized after it bit a 5-year-old girl on the ankle at a local playground. It is being tested for rabies by New Hampshire Fish and Game, according to Derry police. (Courtesy)

DERRY — A fox that bit a 5-year-old girl on the ankle Thursday afternoon at a local playground is being tested for rabies by New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The girl was bitten by the fox at Don Ball Park on Humphrey Road. She sustained minor injuries in the attack and was taken to Parkland Medical Center, Derry police Capt. Vern Thomas said Friday. Police were not releasing her name.

The fox was euthanized after it was caught following an extensive search by Derry police, with assistance from Fish and Game.

The incident was the second one in two days as police also received a report of an aggressive fox on Wednesday night on Schurman Drive, Thomas said. No injuries were reported in that incident in which a fox chased a 9-year-old boy as he was playing in his backyard at 9 Schurman Drive. At one point the fox knocked the boy to the ground, Thomas said. The boy's mother, who saw the incident, swung a shovel at the fox, causing it to run off and not return, according to police.

As a precaution, Don Ball Park and all outside areas of the West Running Brook School and Derry Village School were closed to activities during the search. The areas were later re-opened, Thomas said.

As he watched his 4-year-old daughter play at Don Ball Park on Friday afternoon, Rich Ring said he had brought her to the park Thursday night but saw that it was closed and left. After hearing the fox had been captured and euthanized, Ring said the incident was over and the park was safe again for his daughter and other children. So, he decided to bring his daughter back on Friday.

Ring said Derry isn't alone as similar incidents have occurred in many other communities.

"It's happening no matter where you go," Ring said.

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