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Rabies warning after 2 attacks by fox in Tucson area

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is reminding the public to keep a safe distance from wildlife after a gray fox bit three people in two separate attacks in the Tucson area.

Mark Hart with Game and Fish said testing confirmed that the fox had rabies.

“Last week on Wednesday and Thursday, three people were attacked by a fox that we ultimately euthanized on Friday when it was in the process of attacking a fourth person,” said Hart.

According to Hart, this marks an uptick in rabies cases.

“We’re not characterizing it as an outbreak yet, but we’ve confirmed rabies in four animals that have attacked since late November,” he said. “Another two were recovered dead, but tested positive for rabies as well.”

Anyone hiking or camping at the Saguaro National Park or in the area should be mindful of small animals acting erratically, overly aggressively, and/or appearing to lack a fear of humans.

If possible, said Hart, call the Game and Fish Department; that way, they can make sure the animal doesn’t harm anyone and test for rabies. According to Game and Fish, it’s best to keep a safe distance from wildlife and to make sure pets and livestock are vaccinated against the disease.

Kirsten Dorman is a field correspondent at KJZZ. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dorman fell in love with audio storytelling as a freshman at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2019.