The US Capitol Police tweeted pictures of a captured fox Tuesday after warning earlier in the day of an “aggressive fox” roaming the grounds of the Capitol in an email to Hill staffers and a congressman saying the animal bit through his pant leg.
“#BREAKING: Captured,” Capitol Police’s account wrote in a thread with a previous tweet that included the earlier warning, this time with four pictures of the animal as it was being detained. Capitol Police later clarified that DC animal control had captured the fox.
USCP said six people had reported being bitten or nipped, which included Democratic Rep. Ami Bera of California who says he was nipped on the leg by a fox on his walk into the office Monday.
“I felt something lunge, totally unprovoked, right at the back of my leg again,” Bera said. “It felt like a small dog. I thought it someone’s dog and I quickly jumped. I’m glad I had my long umbrella with me, because then it was just holding it off.”
The fox’s teeth pierced Bera’s suit, but it was inconclusive whether or not Bera was bitten, Bera spokesperson Travis Horne told CNN. Bera said he does not believe the bite broke the skin, there was no blood and doesn’t think the fox got through his sock.
Out of an abundance of caution and per the Attending Physicians recommendation, Horne told CNN that Bera went to Walter Reed Hospital on Monday night. Bera said he received seven shots last night and began a five-course rabies shot regimen.
“It’s five shots on immunoglobulin so to around the ankle where maybe it grabbed me, one of in the side and one in both buttocks, a tetanus shot in the shoulder and rabies shot in the right arm,” Bera said.
Horne said that Bera feels well and is at work Tuesday, but as a doctor himself, encourages everyone to stay vigilant around wild animals and to speak with their physician if they get bitten.
In the email, USCP wrote it received reports on Monday “of individuals being attacked or bitten by a fox,” including one encounter at the Botanic Garden and another by the foundation of the Capitol on the House side. The email indicated USCP received another report on Tuesday of “a fox approaching staff” near First and C Street NE.
“There are possibly several fox dens on Capitol Grounds. Animal Control is currently on the grounds seeking to trap and relocate any foxes they find,” the USCP email read. “Foxes are wild animals that are very protective of their dens and territory. Please do not approach any fox you see.”
Capitol Police also issued their warning on Twitter and announced Animal Control Officers were working to “trap and relocate” the foxes.
This story and headline have been updated to reflect additional information from the Capitol Police.