Woman attacked by rabid fox near Ruidoso

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ALTO, N.M. (KRQE)-  A 76-year-old New Mexico woman was attacked by a rabid fox.  Now the state is wanting the public to stay away from wild animals if they are acting strangely.

“When we were watching the fox it wasn’t acting right, that’s not normal behavior for a fox,” said Lincoln County Sheriff Robert Shepperd.  He is talking about the grey wolf that attacked an elderly woman in Alto.

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish says the fox is the first confirmed case of rabies in New Mexico this year. Last year there were 12 cases across the state.

The sheriff’s office says that the woman was walking on Deer Park Road when a fox came from behind the house and attacked her. The woman tried to scare the fox away with her sweatshirt but then it bit her.  She ran to a nearby house for help.  When she got inside the fox was gnawing on the door, trying to get inside.

When Sheriff Shepperd arrived, the fox was still on the porch.

“As we were standing probably about 40 feet away from the fox it turns its attention on us and then it came after the officers and myself,” said Shepperd.

The fox was captured and euthanized.

People who live in the area know the danger. “Be aware of what’s going on around you. Ya know, if the thing acts weird or something like that then do something,” said Ray Swansen, Alto resident.

NMDGF and the sheriffs’ office warn people to be on the lookout for anything strange.

“Anytime and animal is aggressive, acting funny or anything they need to stay away from them. Call 911 so we can get either deputies are game and fish up there to assess the problem,” said Shepperd.

Humans can be treated if they contract rabies, animals can’t. They have to be put down.

Game and fish say this serves as a reminder to vaccinate your pets.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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