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The tail of the wild Capitol fox that bit a congressman, a reporter and at least seven other people in Washington Tuesday came to an end after city health officials put it down and later confirmed it had been infected with the rabies virus.
Health officials in Washington, D.C., said the fox captured Tuesday, after reports of “aggressive” encounters around Capitol Hill, was an adult female. They captured its kits earlier this morning and were still looking into what to do with them.
“The fox responsible for nine confirmed bites on Capitol Hill yesterday was captured and humanely euthanized so that rabies testing may be done,” a spokesperson for D.C. Health told Fox News Digital Wednesday.
The results came in positive later in the day. Authorities said they were reaching out to the nine victims and were asking anyone else who came into contact with the vixen or its kits to call DC Health at 202-442-9143.
The animal’s antics kicked off a mild sensation Tuesday and even spawned a satirical Twitter account, which tweeted “Gone but not forgotten” shortly after officials confirmed they euthanized the vixen.
Authorities said they uncovered no additional foxes on the Capitol grounds but said more could be spread out around the city. Anyone who spots an animal that appears aggressive, sick or injured is asked to call Animal Control at 202-723-5730.
“D.C. Health will not be doing a roundup of healthy foxes in the area and only intervenes to remove wildlife if they are sick or injured or where an exposure to humans has occurred and rabies testing would be warranted,” the spokesperson said. “D.C. Health encourages anyone who came into physical contact with the fox to call D.C. Health at 202-442-9143.”
The fox prompted Capitol police to warn of “aggressive fox encounters” on Tuesday afternoon, urging the public, “please do not approach any foxes.”
One of its victims was Rep. Ami Bera, a California Democrat who later shared an image of puncture marks in his suit pants he blamed on the animal.
“What does the fox say? Last night, I found out,” he tweeted, after telling reporters about the encounter. “Joking aside, animal bites are extremely serious. In the case of an encounter, please speak with a physician immediately.”
He said he was OK but shared a link with information on rabies.
Another victim was Politico reporter Ximena Bustillo, who said the vixen nipped at her from behind.
“I didn’t even see it,” she tweeted. “I’m from Idaho, I know to not try and pet it!”
D.C. Animal Control scooped up the fox around 3:30 p.m. and took it off in a blue carry crate. They scooped up its kits Wednesday morning.
In the U.S., rabies is most often found in wild bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes, according to the CDC.