Update: Fox had rabies, five bitten - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Update: Fox had rabies, five bitten

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Reporter: Allison Bybee

Update: New information about that fox that terrorized a Boynton Beach neighborhood.

An animal control officer now says the fox did, in fact, have rabies. Now, officers are going back to the Boynton Beach neighborhood where it happened to check on other animals in the area to make sure they are not sick as well.

On Wednesday a rabid grey fox bit five people, including a child, before animal control officers captured it.

The bite victims will now begin a series of rabies vaccines.

Previously: A chase that lasted four hours, freezing an entire neighborhood and putting a local day care on lock down, is now over.

They were on the hunt for a fox that bit five people including a child, and the fear is that the animal may have had rabies.

Wednesday morning police stalked a Boynton Beach neighborhood ready to fire a shot if the fox accused of biting five residents popped its head out.

Neighbors watched in disbelief. "I've never seen one, and I can't imagine. I feel sorry for the poor things, but if they hurt somebody, that's different, and I guess they do," says Jenny Kent. 

"It's kind of frightening; we know there have been foxes in the neighborhood before but to have a rabid fox," says Susan Grigsby.

Residents who spotted the animal thought it looked sick. That's why animal control believed it was a rabid fox. So they took action calling all residents urging them to stay inside. Some didn't heed the warning. "I've seen it about once during the day, but I'm not too worried," says Bille Bell.

For others, it was too late. The fox had already attacked them. "It burned; I just felt his teeth going into me, and, oh, it really hurt me a lot," describes LaRue Kahler.

Tuesday night, LaRue Kahler and her husband took a walk. That's when they say the fox first pounced. "The fox was under her, and I stomped on it twice. And he got away, and he ran around the dumpster and took off," recalls LaRue's husband, Roslyn.

The last three attacks happened early Wednesday morning; one being at Miss Little's Daycare. "It was surreal. At first I thought they were joking, and I thought, it's not April Fools Day. What kind of joke could this be? And then it really was a fox," says owner Luanne Freeman.

The fox is now at animal care and control. It will be euthanized then tested. We will know in 24-48 hours if the fox is rabid. If tests come back positive, all five victims will begin a rabies vaccine. Currently, several are taking antibiotics as a precaution.

We spoke to David Hitzig from the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter. He says you need to be treated within a few hours if you're bitten by any rabid animal.

Wildlife experts say the injections needed to fight rabies are not as involved or painful as they used to be.

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