Wild Fox That Bit Congressmen Ami Bera, Politico Reporter and 7 Others at Capitol Had Rabies

A wild fox that bit members of Congress near the Capitol had rabies, authorities have revealed. The fox, which bit around nine people, has now been euthanized.

The DC Public Health lab confirmed that the fox that was captured on Tuesday tested positive for the rabies virus. Currently, DC Health is making efforts to contact all human victims who were bitten by the fox.

Female fox captured by Animal Control near US Capitol Twitter

The female fox was "responsible for 9 confirmed bites on Capitol Hill" and was "humanely so that rabies testing may be done," the department said earlier.

Fox Kits Were Also Captured

On Wednesday morning, the fox's kits were also captured and now authorities are working to determine the next steps.

DC Animal Control on Tuesday had received several reports of fox encounters in the areas of the US Capitol.

Among those who had a run-in with the fox was Republican Congressman Ami Bera and Politico reporter Ximena Bustillo as the two were attacked by the fox when they walked outside the capitol.

Fox Bit 9 People

Bera told CBS News a fox came up and attacked the back of his leg "totally unprovoked," but said the bite was minor enough to not pierce his sock or his skin. Bustillo said she felt a "pinch" on her ankle that she believed to be a squirrel or dog, before realizing she'd been attacked by a fox.

Bera and Bustillo both have now started a course on the rabies vaccine. Notably, rabies is believed to be fatal if it is left untreated.

After the incident, animal control officials are now in action as they are posting informational flyers close to the areas of the Capitol. They are also advising nearby residents and workers of the fox's positive rabies status and encouraging people who might have been exposed to contact the health department.

This article was first published on April 7, 2022