Fox attacks two people and pet dog in Virginia Beach park

Posted at 3:26 PM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 23:11:30-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A fox attacked two people and a pet dog in First Landing State Park Sunday, according to the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health.

The emergency notification stated that the people and the pet were attacked at the 64th street entrance along a beach path.

Kevin Gladstone was on his 12-mile run when he was blindsided and bitten by a wild fox.

"It was growling, like grrr, and it just took about three shakes to get it off," said Gladstone. The fox held onto his calf and Gladstone said the attack lasted about 30 seconds as he tried to kick the fox off to the side into the trees.

Gladstone has seen foxes and other wildlife on his runs at First Landing State Park before, but has never been attacked.

"I think maybe that was helpful that I was running. The fact I only had that little mark, the fact he didn't take half my calf off," said Gladstone.

The mark on his calf may be little, but the Department of Public Health warns if anyone has had exposure to stray, wild animals in the area within the past few weeks to contact your physician or the health department. The rabies disease could have been transmitted and it could be fatal.

"That's the first thing you do is wash the wound. So if you have alcohol or fresh water or any way to wash the wound, wash it, and then get to an emergency room to get it evaluated," said Valerie Thompson with the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health.

The path where the fox bit two people and a pet dog has been closed by the Parks and Recreation Department for at least the next 24 hours.

The Department of Public Health doesn't want people to panic, just to be prepared when coming out to First Landing State Park.

"It's concerning, we would definitely watch out a little bit more on the trails, but it's not like we're not going to come out here. We're going to keep coming out here," said Savannah Kane, who was on the beach celebrating her birthday.

There is plenty of wildlife at the park, but if a wild animal moves toward you in an aggressive manner, the health department said it's most likely diseased and could have rabies, so do what you can to protect yourself.