Neighbors want city to clean up, after fox tests positive for rabies
A fox that bit a man in western Bibb County last week has tested positive for rabies. The news, from the Macon Bibb County Health Department comes nine days after a fox was reported acting rabid on Summerhill Drive, and a month after another fox was reported acting rabid less than two miles away at the Macon Garden Apartments.
Both foxes in Macon were killed by police officers, but neither was tested for rabies, as they did not make bites that broke the skin of their victims.
With the news that a fox has tested positive for rabies, neighbors living on Summerhill Drive say they are concerned for their safety.
"Just as I was going down the steps, before I could get to the bottom, he was coming toward me," said 80-year-old Helen Moore, explaining how a fox charged her as she took the trash out to the backyard of her home on Summerhill Drive.
The fox was later killed with a shovel by a Macon Police Officer as it laid in the middle of the street. Moore says she is frustrated because the city has told her to hire private trappers if she wants the animals removed.
"You never know when they'll come, or whether they're going to attack or not, it's really frustrating," Moore said.
Moore and her neighbors say there are several foxes that live in a wooded ravine behind their homes. Lately the foxes have displayed rabid traits like indifference toward people, being out during the day, and clumsiness. With a number of children that live and play in the area, Moore says the prospect of one of them being bitten is concerning.
"It's very scary, and see, those children have moved to the front to play, and then sometimes my grandchildren are here," Moore said.
Moore and her next door neighbor 89-year-old Mary Kay Floyd believe the animals would not be there if the ravine behind there homes was properly maintained. They say the property belongs to the city, but calls to the Macon Public Works Department have not produced any clean up effort.
"We'll see a bear the next time come out here, and I've called, Miss Moore has called, and they will not come out here and clean that ditch back there," Floyd said.
"It hasn't been cleaned out since before I retired, and I retired in (19)90," Moore said.
"I have grandchildren, I'm scared to let them go out in the yard and play because I'm scared a snake or a fox or something might run up and bite them," Floyd said.
City of Macon Spokesperson Chris Floore says he is looking into the matter.
Because the foxes on Summerhill Drive have not attacked anyone yet the County Health Department says it's not its responsibility to remove the animals, but Moore says she hopes it someone doesn't have to be bitten before someone will help.
"It's frustrating because you can't reach the people you want to reach, to see about these animals. See man had to get bit, for you to come out here," Moore said.
Bibb County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Sean Defoe says deputies will respond to reports of dangerous animals, but the public is strongly encouraged to hire private trappers to remove nuisance animals.