WOOLWICH (WGME) — A pair of foxes, who were possibly rabid, attacked a man at his home — located in the same area where rabid foxes attacked and bit 16 people last year.
“They came up over the path right here,” said J. Collins.
Collins said there is a den of foxes nearby and he sees them all the time, but this is the first time they’ve ever attacked him.
“I felt something I was tripping over and I looked down and it was a damn fox trying to jerk my leg,” he said.
“So I kicked him off. And he came over and grabbed the other one. And then I fell down and I’m trying to get the weed whacker between me and him,” he said.
Collins said he finally hit the fox on the nose with the weed whacker and it ran off.
That’s when the second fox attacked.
“The second one come straight at me. And I mean just fast. I had a cane here and I picked it up and just started hitting the hell out of him,” he said.
Collins said he was bitten 15 times on his legs and arms. He would have had more bites had he not been wearing his muck boots.
Since the attack, he’s seen a fox near his home. He’s worried they’ll strike again. So are his neighbors.
State wildlife officials said up to 100 animals test positive for rabies each year in Maine and many of them are foxes.
“They become very aggressive. They seem to lose their fear of humans,” said Mark Latti of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
“What we had in this case was two foxes attacking a man, including one fox that ran quite a distance in order to attack this person. That’s highly unusual,” Latti said.
Collins has already started a series of rabies shots and vaccines.
Last year, nearby Bath had 16 cases of rabies, mostly from fox attacks. Authorities said those who see animals acting strangely or aggressively should get inside and call 911.