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Fox shot by Waterman police had mange, not rabies

Published: Thursday, March 20, 2014 11:35 p.m. CDT

WATERMAN – The fox that Waterman police shot and killed Tuesday after it was seen running around school grounds tested negative for rabies, Waterman police Sgt. Jason Swanson said Thursday.

Police were called about noon Tuesday by a resident who saw a sick fox on the property at Waterman Elementary School, 220 N. Maple St. Swanson killed the fox with a single shot to the head. No one else was harmed.

The fox did, however, have a serious case of mange, a skin disease caused by parasitic mites. According to the ASPCA, mange can be transmitted to humans.

The fox had been about 20 yards from a group of children, Swanson said. The school principal called students into the building, but at one point, the fox was by the door where kindergartners come out for recess, Swanson said.

Waterman police are asking people to stay away from sick wild animals. Waterman Elementary School is cooperating with police to find out whether any of the students came into contact with the fox.

“Be cautious around wildlife,” Swanson said. “It’s called wildlife for a reason.”

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