WEST BATH — A sheriff’s deputy killed a fox on State Road Tuesday afternoon after a resident saw it acting strange and chewing on cardboard.

The animal was near Occupational Health Associates around 4:30 p.m. when it was killed.

Sagadahoc County Chief Deputy Brett Strout said the fox isn’t believed to have attacked anyone. Given the high number of wild animal attacks in the area, Strout said the deputy killed the animal out of caution. West Bath’s animal control officer Todd Stead took the corpse to the Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory in Augusta for testing but didn’t have results as of Wednesday afternoon.

It is a strange time of the year for the sheriff’s office to be getting complaints about potentially rabid animals, Strout said, as animals are typically less active or hibernating. This was the third such incident this month, however.

Police Jan. 5 killed a fox that attacked a man on Moose Trail Drive in West Bath, hours after an attack on another man. That animal tested positive for rabies.

On Jan. 3, 88-year old Norman Kenney of Bath was attacked by a rabid fox at his Getchell Street home for the second time in four months.

Bath has been plagued by animal attacks and 16 wild animals tested positive for rabies there in 2019 according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Statewide, 105 wild animals tested positive for rabies in 2019.

Bath City Manager Peter Owen said recently that Rep. Sean Paulhus of Bath, also a city councilor, wrote to the state requesting help with the rabies problem in Bath. The state’s Working Group on Rabies planned to discuss the problem at their meeting Tuesday, which was not open to the public.

This year, four wild animals had tested positive for rabies as of Friday — three foxes and a raccoon.

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