US Capitol fox put down after biting lawmaker but winning hearts
A mother fox that bit at least nine people including a congressman at the US Capitol has been put down, city officials said Wednesday, in a melancholy twist to a tale that briefly captured the capital's imagination.
DC Health said the vixen was "humanely euthanized so that rabies testing may be done," NBC News reported, while officials were figuring out what to do with her litter of kits.
"The fox responsible for nine confirmed bites on Capitol Hill yesterday was captured and humanely euthanized so that rabies testing may be done," a spokesman for the agency said in a statement to US media.
No other foxes were found at the Capitol Hill complex near downtown Washington, according to DC Health, but it added that more sightings should be expected as the species is known to prowl the entire urban area.
Accounts of the fox's hijinks lit up social media, spawning a satirical Twitter account, a glut of questionable puns and a parody online store offering t-shirts bearing the legend: "I survived the Capitol Fox 2022."
DC Health said it was waiting for the rabies test results on the creature, but had no intention of a wider cull and would not round up healthy individuals.
One of the fox's victims was Congressman Ami Bera, a Democrat from Sacramento, California, who shared an image of a bite mark in his suit and revealed the attack left him needing multiple precautionary shots for tetanus and rabies.
The fox also attacked a political reporter, biting her ankle from behind, as well as at least seven other members of the public.
AFP reached out to DC Health for further details on the fox's offspring and test results but there was no immediate response.