Fox infected with rabies found in Clanton

Published 4:45 pm Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A fox infected with the rabies virus was found in Clanton early Wednesday morning.

Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell said the Clanton Police Department received a call around 8 a.m. from a resident on Old Thorsby Road who reported seeing a fox “acting strangely” near a speed limit sign.

“The fox was acting out of its head barking, growling and being real aggressive,” Stilwell said.

Clanton Animal Control Officer Chris Whittle responded to the call.

According to Stilwell, when Whittle arrived at the residence, the fox was gnawing on a tree.

In order to catch the fox, Whittle had to shoot him.

Dana Johnson, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture based at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Services at Auburn University, met Whittle in Wetumpka to retrieve the fox to test it for rabies.

Johnson took the fox to Auburn to be tested and called CPD at 2 p.m. Wednesday to say the fox had tested positive for rabies.

Johnson has sent the fox to Atlanta to the Centers for Disease Control.

“The bad part of a fox is an animal like that doesn’t carry rabies,” Johnson said. “Whenever that happens you know a rabid raccoon had to get to it.”