WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Capitol Police had their hands full after an unruly visitor was disrupting the peace on capitol grounds and getting reports it was even biting people. They had to call in animal control for backup to capture an “aggressive” fox.
The U.S. Capitol sees its fair share of tourists but there was an unexpected visitor lurking in a park near the senate offices. Capitol Police aren’t referring to an unruly tourist or any of the abundant squirrels, but rather, a red fox, and it’s visit was causing chaos.
“There were some sightings yesterday there was also about half a dozen so-called aggressive interactions, some nips, some bites,” said Tim Barber with U.S. Capitol Police.
Staff believe it’s the first time a fox has made its way onto Capitol grounds and police were getting reports of people being attacked or bitten, including one member of congress, Dr. Ami Bera. Bera was bit by the fox. He told reporters he had to get several shots, including a rabies shot as a precaution, but he’s feeling fine and is back at work. But this fox frenzy sparked satirical social media postings.
“It is getting a lot traction on social media and a lot of people are having fun with it but although it’s kind of humorous,” said Barber. “But it’s also a public safety issue.”
Representative Virginia Foxx poked fun at this situation and tweeted “so much for my ‘fox caucus’ idea”. A Twitter account was also created for the fox. Jokingly taunting Capitol Police after they alerted people about an aggressive fox near Capitol grounds, saying: “you’ll never take me alive”. But this fox spoke too soon.
Capitol Police called in for backup: animal control. After hours of setting traps and searching the grounds, they captured the fox, ending this chaos at the Capitol.
Since the fox has been captured, D.C. Health said they had to humanely euthanize it because of rabies. They did find her kits and have captured them as well. They’re still working on the next steps for the kits. D.C. Health adds that the fox bit a total of nine people.