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Police shoot and kill fox after it attacks 4-year-old boy in Meredith

By DOUG ALDEN
New Hampshire Union Leader

June 24. 2018 10:08PM




MEREDITH — A police officer shot and killed a fox that attacked a 4-year-old boy playing outside with other children at an apartment complex, authorities said Sunday.

The boy, whose name was not released, was taken by his parents to Lakes Region General Hospital with injuries to his arms and one leg, Meredith police Sgt. Phil McLaughlin said Sunday.

“It was a pretty scary thing for the parents and the child,” McLaughlin said.

The attack happened around 1:30 p.m. Saturday outside the Redgate Village Apartments, where police were called by someone who spotted a fox acting “aggressively,” McLaughlin said.

Joe Canfield, a conservation officer with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department who also responded to the scene, said the fox was likely rabid and will be tested at a lab in Concord today.

“When they become aggressive like that it’s pretty typically rabies,” Canfield said.

Canfield joined police in the search for the fox, which witnesses said ran into the woods after attacking the boy. The fox resurfaced near Water Street around 9:30 p.m., when a man told officer Will Goulet that it was under his car and had tried to attack him, McLaughlin said.

Goulet was searching the wood line for the fox, which had come back and took another run at the man, who was not injured, McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin and Goulet pursued the fox into the woods and spotted it as it lunged at Goulet, McLaughlin said. Goulet was able to sidestep the fox, then shoot it, McLaughlin said.

“It was all very quick,” McLaughlin said. “We’re lucky that he was able to see it and wasn’t injured.”

Police bagged the carcass and took it to the station, where Canfield picked it up Sunday and drove it to Concord for rabies testing.

“The lab will know pretty much right away and they contact the family directly,” Canfield said.

Canfield said it was a gray fox that was the size of a small dog and probably weighed about 10 pounds.

“Although it’s not very common we seen them attack in New Hampshire, it does happen,” Canfield said.

Union Leader Correspondent Bea Lewis contributed to this story.


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