Man who handled rabid fox in Delco found

April 25, 2012 3:10:46 PM PDT
Authorities have found the man who handled a rabid fox in Radnor Township. Now, they want others to learn from his close encounter.

The Pennsylvania Health Department says the man who handled the rabid fox is doing well. It doesn't appear he was bitten and he has received injections that can prevent the disease.

Spokeswoman Beth Anne Smith says once humans begin to have symptoms of rabies, the disease is usually always fatal.

"The only way rabies is transmitted is through the rabies of an infected animal, so it has to be a bite or, since animals sometimes lick their claws, it could be a scratch," said Smith.

Witnesses say the injured fox was hit by a vehicle while crossing busy Lancaster Avenue. Several people stopped and tried to help the injured animal in this nearby park.

Eventually Radnor Police arrived and put down the fox with a gunshot. Testing revealed it was indeed rabid.

"It scared us a little bit because we like to walk during lunch, through the path," said witness Jacki O'Connell. "It's a great neighborhood to walk in. Now I'm going to look out for sure."

Foxes are not uncommon in Radnor Township and the surrounding area - neither are rabid animals.

Joel Allison lives next to the park where the fox was found, saying he occasionally sees them and other wildlife. He, and officials, say people need to watch their pets and avoid the wild animals.

"It's the same thing with raccoons. I would assume that people are smart enough not to leave their animals out at night," said Allison.

The health dept. also recommends people vaccinate their animals once a year against rabies.