A gray fox shot by a Monmouth resident Monday night is being tested for rabies as officials try to determine whether it’s the same animal that attacked two people earlier in the day.

Game Warden Steve Allarie said Tuesday that results of the test, which could be returned over the next few days, will help confirm whether it is the same fox that bit the shoes of two people in town.

“It’s being tested to see if comes back (positive),” Allarie said. “If it does, I’d like to think we have the same fox.”

Police said a fox was shot by a resident about 7 p.m. at 10 Berry Road, near at home at 11 Berry Road, where a man was attacked that morning. A second man, at nearby 814 Main St., was attacked a short time later.

The fox shot Monday night reportedly was attacking the home owner’s free-range chickens.

“It was shot by a homeowner on Berry Road while it was attacking chickens,” Monmouth police Officer Aaron Paradis said Monday night. “It literally had a chicken in its mouth as he shot it.”

Paradis said police contacted the Maine Warden Service to have a warden try to confirm it was the same gray fox involved in the previous incidents.

Allarie said Tuesday that there is no way to know for sure that the dead fox is the same one responsible for the attacks, but there are reasons to believe that it is. While it’s not unusual behavior for a fox to attack chickens, the fox was in the same area just hours after the attack on people. Allarie said there had been no reports of a fox sighting since the animal was killed, which also is a good sign.

“Putting everything together, you’d like to believe this is done with,” Allarie said.

Reports that two people were attacked by a gray fox on Monday in Monmouth prompted Maine game wardens and police to launch an intensive search for the animal.

The fox, which authorities suspect has rabies, didn’t break the skin of either person, but the animal’s unusual behavior prompted a warning from officials to be on guard.

The first attack was reported around 8:34 a.m. by a person at 11 Berry Road, near the Main Street intersection. The caller said the fox had attacked him and bitten his boot. The man, whom Allarie did not identify, was able to kick the fox off.

“There was no transfer of saliva or bite to the skin,” Allarie said. “Thankfully, no one was bitten to the point where it causes some level of concern.”

The second complaint came about 20 minutes later when Jared Stevens, who lives at 814 Main St., just two houses north of Cumston Hall, reported a fox had attacked him and bitten his sneaker as he stood outside his home. Stevens, who was wearing shorts, was able to kick the fox free before it bit through his sneaker or dropped saliva on his exposed legs.

Allarie and Monmouth police Officer Mike Parshall searched the area unsuccessfully for the fox for more than two hours.

Allarie urged residents in the area to continue to be vigilant and report any strange animal behavior.

“I would like to think this is from the same family, at least,” he said. “I really want to believe it was the one.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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