An “aggressive” fox terrorizing people on Capitol Hill attacked Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) this week while he was walking to work.
“I never actually expected I was going to get attacked by a real fox,” Bera told KCRA. “I felt something lunge at the back of my leg. It felt like a small dog and I jumped really quick. I was holding my umbrella because I thought I’d have to shoo it away, and I was like, ‘That’s not a dog. That’s a fox.’”
Bera said that while he wasn’t severely injured, he’s receiving a series of rabies shots out of an abundance of caution.
“Even if there’s just a scratch, you don’t want to risk getting rabies,” Bera said.
The congressman said the attack took place in an area that’s often busy with tourists, including young children.
“It was where you see classrooms of students walking all the time. It’s springtime and a lot of kids are here on spring break,” he said, adding, “We want to be compassionate with that fox because it probably was protecting, you know, its den and its litter.”
Bera wasn’t the only to come face to face with the fox. Ximena Bustillo, another victim, said she was also bitten by the wild animal while walking near the Capitol.
“I was walking and the fox ran up behind me and clipped my ankle with its mouth,” Bustill told the outlet.
On Tuesday, the United States Capitol Police (USCP) announced it had caught one fox on Capitol grounds.
“#BREAKING: Captured,” the agency tweeted along with photos of the wild animal.
Earlier that day, the USCP alerted the public of “aggressive fox encounters” near the Capitol.
“We have received several reports of aggressive fox encounters on or near the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. For your safety, please do not approach any foxes. Animal Control Officers are working to trap and relocate any foxes they find.”
Reporter Michael Macagnone tweeted a photo of a fox that he saw near the Capitol.
“Spotted outside the Capitol: a red fox. I was sitting at a gazebo outside the Russell Senate Office building when this little one came trotting up. Then galloped after a squirrel,” he wrote.
Twitter user Mark Bacchus shared footage of a fox running around Capitol grounds.
“This was from Nov…west side of capitol building in front of the botanical garden. Was so crazy to see a fox in such a populated area,” Bacchus tweeted.