One might imagine an animal control officer being bitten by a fox, but a code enforcement officer?

Randy Gray, Skowhegan code enforcement officer for more than 30 years, is taking a series of rabies shots after having been bitten on the ankle Friday by a fox that attacked him as he emerged from his Waye Street home.

“I don’t know if it was rabid or not, but I got to believe he probably is because it was right there in my driveway,” Gray said Sunday. “He actually went after another gentleman in this neighborhood as well.”

The Maine Warden Service is trying to capture the fox live in a trap, according to Gray.

Gray, 62, said he has been notifying people in his neighborhood off upper North Avenue as there are a lot of children in that area.

“We’ve been keeping our eyes open,” he said. “I’m more concerned about the kids in the neighborhood. I hope the Warden Service catches him.”

Gray said he took a late lunch break Friday because it was particularly busy in the town office that day. He went home and had just come out of his house before 2 p.m. when he was surprised by the fox, a brownish-colored animal that was not very large, he said.

“I just walked out of my house to get into my truck, and he ran behind me and bit me in the back of the ankle,” Gray recalled.

Gray went to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan, where he received seven shots, one near the wound area and six in other areas of his body, including the arms and legs, he said. He is scheduled for a follow-up shot on Monday, is to have another one a week later and the third and final shot the following week, he said. Hospital officials called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to report the bite, he said.

Gray said it is very unusual to see a fox in the area, let alone in his own driveway.

“It’s the strangest thing,” he said. “I’ve lived here for over 30 years and I’ve never seen a fox here. It’s very unusual. They usually run from people.”

In July, a Monmouth woman sitting on her porch holding a baby was bitten in the leg by a fox, which a neighbor later shot and killed, according to a Kennebec Journal story. The fox was taken to the state laboratory where it tested positive for rabies.

A call placed to the Warden Service Sunday was not immediately returned. The Humane Society of the United States website says foxes are generally not dangerous unless they are rabid, but rabid foxes are very rare. A person bitten by a fox should wash the affected area with soap and water, contact police or the warden service and immediately seek medical attention, the site says.

Foxes have a natural fear of people and generally avoid them, but they can be attracted to food left outdoors, it says. Making noise or throwing items such as tennis balls toward a fox usually will scare a fox away.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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