Rabies outbreak concerning for many
The past few months for New Hanover Animal Control officers have been very busy trying to contain an outbreak of rabies cases the county has been fighting since the beginning of the year. Experts believe the virus isn’t spreading as fast as the fear.
Jimmy English works as an agent for the Wildlife Resource Commission. He also has a knack for trapping just about any animal. His trapping business has been flooded with calls about sightings of foxes and raccoons from area residents.
“Everybody now that the rabies scare is going on, everybody wants to call at every sighting everywhere they see a fox in their yard. Half of the people in this county have a fox or a raccoon in their yard and they don’t even know it,” English explained.
English said there are hundreds of foxes and countless raccoons living among us. That’s why he says attacks and sightings are not uncommon. “Rabies have been here a long time, we got a lot of animals and a lot of people and they are all congested in this small county. We are just going to have it, that’s all there is to it.”
Anthony Williams said the NHC Animal Control has been busy answering calls. “Just to show you how bad it’s been getting, just this past weekend we had seven to eight calls on a raccoon or fox running loose in the area.”
So far, there have been eleven confirmed cases of rabid animals in the county.
A recent confirmed case happened about a week ago when a rabid fox bit a woman on Park Avenue in Wilmington.
Another fox attack happened at the Cape Harbor apartment complex just this past Saturday. A fox bit a woman on her ankle before running off into the woods. The animal has not been found for officials to run rabies tests.
Animal control officials say the best thing to do to protect yourself is just being aware of your surroundings.
If you do encounter a suspicious animal, don’t take matters into your own hands; you should call animal control at 910-798-7500.
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