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Fox slain after 2 women are bitten

Buffalo News,   September 18, 2008  by Gene Warner

       Amherst police Wednesday afternoon shot a fox to death near Amherst State Park, after two women suffered fox bites in or near the park Tuesday. The first biting incident occurred at about 2 p.m. Tuesday, when a woman in the gazebo near Reist Street was bitten on the shin. About five hours later, a fox jumped on another woman's lap and bit her while she sat near the park entrance on Mill Street.

       Such aggressive activity, police cautioned, usually means that an animal is sick with rabies or some other disease.

       Following Wednesday's shooting, police alerted the public to a possible rabies threat in the park, which runs south of Sheridan Drive and west of Evans Street.

       "We're requesting that people who regularly use that park for any activity be aware of any wild animal acting strange," Amherst police Capt. Patrick McKenna said Wednesday afternoon.

       Wednesday's shooting followed a deployment of Amherst police officers in and around the park to respond to any sightings by residents. At about 1:35 p.m., officers responded to such a call and spotted a fox on a Mill Street porch. The fox was shot to death in a rear yard.

       Police cautioned that there could be another fox in the area.

       Laboratory tests on the fox that was shot are expected to be completed in a couple of days.

       Officers also advised residents to warn their children not to touch any wild animal. Anyone who has been bitten or has a pet bitten by a wild animal is asked to call 911 and then Amherst police.

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