Rabid fox attacks, bites man in Burlington County

EDGEWATER PARK, N.J. (WPVI) -- People in Burlington County, New Jersey are on alert after a rabid fox attacked a man.

The animal was captured, but police say there could be more.

Jon Campbell of Edgewater Park says the fox attacked and bit him as he worked in his backyard.

At first, the animal wasn't aggressive; he thought it might be a mangy cat or dog, but that changed quickly.

"So he jumped up and kind of hooks, that's where you get the bite. It's like a big cut like a gouge. When he finally let go of the skin he was still on the pants," Campbell said.

Campbell had to punch, kick and fight hard to get away from the fox.

He says it kept coming after him like a zombie.

"He wasn't crazy, wasn't foaming, you know any of that typical stuff, just kept trotting up with his mouth open trying to jump up and bite," Campbell said.

Finally, Campbell was able to escape when the fox got his leg caught in a fence.

Campbell was on his way to the emergency room when he noticed the fox was still hanging around. He thought it might make sense to try to trap it in his garage.

"He comes zipping right around the door after me, jumped over him, and slammed the door shut, caught him," Campbell said.

That's when police and animal control took over.

"They put it in a cage, but it was very, very violent and nasty so in those cases, animal control asks us to destroy the animal," Edgewater Park Police Chief Gene Di Filippo said.

When it tested positive for rabies, Campbell had to immediately begin several rounds of shots to prevent him from contracting the disease. Untreated, rabies can be fatal.

Authorities are warning people to avoid close contact with foxes or any wild animal who can carry the threat of rabies.

Jon Campbell wishes he realized sooner it wasn't just a cute little creature passing through his yard, but a rabid animal that would attack.

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