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13-year-old boy kills fox after being bitten | News

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13-year-old boy kills fox after being bitten
News, Urban Wildlife
13-year-old boy kills fox after being bitten

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga -- A 13-year-old boy had to undergo treatment for rabies after he was bitten by a fox. He was the second person bitten in two days and now officials are alerting residents in the neighborhood.

Douglas County Animal Control want the public to make sure their household pets are vaccinated because there are rabid foxes in the area. Even though both incidents happened within several thousand feet, officials believe there were two separate rabid foxes.

Frances McMillan, manager of animal control, said the incidents happened on opposite sides of a busy Fairburn Road. "We recommend, and it is state law, that your animal be vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian for rabies once per year," she said.

The boy, Ryan Prather of Douglasville, was able to kill the fox that bit him on Thursday. Prather said he never saw it coming. The first thing he felt was something latching onto his right elbow and he didn't know what it was. "I looked up and this thing bit me," he said. "And I looked at it and it looked like a possum, but it wasn't a possum, it was a fox."

Prather said he was frightened and his instincts took over. "It was latched onto my arm and I just grabbed it and choked it and it let go and I just hit it," he said.

He said the fox dropped to the ground and died. McMillan said he probably saved other people from being bitten. "He was defending himself and the fox died fairly easily and that's because it was rabid and injured," she said. "So it was already in a weakened state."

She said in some respects, Ryan is a hero. What does he think about that? "It feels good," he said. "It could have hurt a little kid."

The other incident happened one day earlier when a man was bitten twice by a fox as he walked through a wooded path to his apartment complex. The two incidents have caused concern for animal control officials who are asking residents to keep an eye on their pets and to make sure they are vaccinated. "It protects the pets from getting rabies and also protects the public from being exposed to rabies through their pets," said McMillan.

She said residents should also keep an eye out for foxes and if they see one and it's acting strange, call 911.

Nobody wants to go through the pain Ryan Prather went through. He had eight shots around the bite mark on his elbow and two in the arm and he still has to go through two more rounds of shots. Which hurts more, the bite or the shots? "The shots," Ryan said.

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