Fox suspected in Hill attacks euthanized; tested positive for rabies

The fox that was captured outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday has been euthanized, and it has since tested positive for rabies.

The adult female was “responsible for nine confirmed bites” on the Hill, DC Health said in a statement Wednesday. Her kits were also captured and “officials are working to determine next steps” for them.

For now, no other foxes have been found around Capitol Hill. But DC Health said it would not be unusual to see more, “as there are many present throughout the District.”

DC Health said it only intervenes to remove wildlife “if they are sick or injured or where an exposure to humans has occurred and rabies testing would be warranted.”



One of those attacked by a fox in recent days was Rep. Ami Bera, who represents California’s 7th District. Now, the Democrat is undergoing a series of rabies shots after the roughly 15-second encounter.

“It’s the most unusual day on the Hill in 10 years,” Bera said of Monday’s attack.

“That’s unfortunate,” Bera said of Wednesday’s news. “You hate to see the fox euthanized. But again, I understand given the number of folks that were attacked or bitten and, you know, the spring breaks that you’re seeing a bunch of kids schools walking around the Capitol touring it.”

According to the Humane Society of the United States, foxes are usually afraid of people unless they’ve been fed by people — or unless they are rabid.

Anyone who encounters an aggressive, sick or injured fox should call District Animal Control at 202-723-5730. Anyone who comes into contact with a fox should call DC Health at 202-442-9143.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to WTOP.com when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer. In a previous life, he helped edit The Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune.

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