I can hardly believe I’m posting such a thing, but we’ve had a fox running around here for the last two days. I believe it is rabid. Why, you ask?
Well, it is very obviously ill. It came running from back by our little barn all the way up onto our deck during the day. Since we were looking out of the slider, we were able to get a really good look at him. His eyes were matted, his tongue was hanging out and flopping around, he was disoriented and very unnatural as far as his behavior. He was also gulping water from our wheelbarrow-which was upright when the rain came through two nights ago-and he gave me chills up and down my spine…
I don’t dare look up the obvious indicators for rabies, but he’s sick really, really sick…
He ran off toward the East of us, and I phoned 411 for the number for animal control. They gave me the Humane Society. I said, “No. I have an ill wild animal running around here and we have kids getting off the bus in 20 minutes. I need someone here to take care of it before it hurts a kid.” She said she had no idea who to call for that. I said no problem, I’m calling the police.
So I did.
And I said very clearly when the operator answered that I wasn’t sure if this was an emergency or not, but I don’t have the non-emergency number. Then I told her what was going on. She got snarky with me and said, “How do you KNOW the animal is sick?”
Um, well, it’s a very large nasty mangy looking fox running around at 2:30 in the afternoon and it’s covered in sores and acting really creepy…And the thing just ran about 100 miles an hour from the back of our land all the way up onto our deck.
Yeah. That’s a sick animal. Where is this chick from, Mars? I mean I am a country girl through and through, and if things had been a bit different the animal would have been shot dead in my back yard and that would be the end of it. Unfortunately, there was no clear shot and the thing ran toward houses…But seriously, how dense are you to not realize a fox in the middle of the day is very unusual. Then to have it behaving in a very inappropriate manner means it’s more than likely the animal is ill and needs to be taken care of.
Before a little kid gets attacked.
So she took all the information, told me she would let animal control know about it and to keep an eye out for them because they would likely want to talk to me about the animal.
No one ever showed up.
My oldest daughter immediately put a warning out on the school’s facebook page about the animal and where it was last seen, trying to let people know about the danger. (We let the neighbors on our road know about the fox, too.)
My youngest son later spoke with a neighbor and he said 13 of his chickens had been killed by what we believe was the sick fox. One of our cats was also killed by something which we think was the fox, because of the tracks around the site.
We have not seen it since, but we don’t know what happened to it either. No one has said they killed it, so hopefully it became so ill it just died someplace. It has been a nerve wracking couple of days wondering where the thing is. We don’t let our dogs out without being right there with them, we’ve lost one cat and haven’t seen two of the other ones in a day or so. I am concerned, I’m not going to lie.
I know people don’t often care much about “barn cats” but we do. I feed them all really good meals, and when I come out with my 9 x 13 pan filled with food for them all the barn cats come running from all over the place. Through the fields, from the neighbors barns, everywhere. They all love my kitty-cat cooking.
Now some creepy sick fox has killed one of my cats, and maybe a couple more. Rapunzel, Eugene and Mrs. Norris haven’t been seen lately and I have no idea where Cookie is. Rapunzel 2 has passed away, but maybe our little ones won’t notice if the rest of them are still here. Unfortunately, I cannot find them right now and that worries me.
Edited to add:
My husband no longer thinks what we had here was a fox. He thinks it was a Coywolf.
This is an animal, a cross between an wolf and a coyote. The animal was larger than the usual fox, but I simply couldn’t imagine it being anything else. It was clearly not a coyote, nor did it look like a wolf at all, so I remain unconvinced it is a Coywolf.
Now that I see it better, I am sure it was a Coywolf. This picture is remarkably like the animal that ran up onto our deck. Only the animal was much scruffier and nasty looking.