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Sick fox captured near greenway


Beth Velliquette

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A sick fox that was having seizures Monday near the greenway along the Tar River was captured and euthanized but not tested for rabies.

The incident occurred about 10:30 a.m. on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and according to a “Bless Your Heart” writer, a man on a bicycle spotted the sick fox and stayed nearby for about two hours warning people to stay away from it until an employee from Greenville’s Animal Protective Services captured the fox and later had it euthanized.

The incident occurred near North Library Street, where it meets the greenway on the south side of the Tar River, and it took some time before the Animal Protective Services was able to get to the fox since it was a city holiday and the officer was working on an on-call basis, according to Kristen Hunter, public information officer for the Greenville Police Department. A police officer responded first then called for the animal officer, she said.

“The call came in as a wild fox possibly suffering from seizures, and it was marked as a priority 4 call because the fox had not come in contact with any humans and was not displaying aggression towards humans,” Hunter said. “The fox appeared to be in poor health, possibly suffering from distemper or another disease.”

Hunter said no further testing was required by law because there had not been any reports that the fox came in contact with any humans.

John Morrow, the health director for Pitt County, agreed that testing the fox for rabies was not warranted.

“We know that foxes and raccoons carry rabies so we don’t test animals in the wild. Unless there has been an exposure, testing is not recommended,” he said.

Contact Beth Velliquette at bvelliquette@reflector.com or at 252-329-9566.