Foxes roam around Kernersville

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KERNERSVILLE, N.C. -- Since November of 2012, at least 7 foxes exhibiting abnormal behavior have been observed in the Kernersville area, according health officials.

A joint statement released on Thursday from The Forsyth County Health Department and Kernersville Police Department urged residents to use caution when encountering wild animals. The statement says the foxes have been aggressive and in some cases chased people.

"I personally never seen one till this year," said Amy Borton of Kernersville. Borton says her parents reported aggressive foxes attacking wild turkeys in their backyard. "They have wild turkeys and the foxes were killing the wild turkeys. A lot of kids are out and about and we can't control these foxes."

The abnormal behavior is raising concerns for health officials that the foxes in these incidents might be rabid.  Health officials did not mention the exact location of the incidents, but asked anyone who sees a fox, skunk, raccoon or other wild or domestic animal that appears aggressive, sick or acting abnormally to seek shelter and call animal control.

"I saw one that had been hit and the first thing I thought of was that's unusual," said Torrey Easler of Kernersville who spotted the fox dead on a city street. "Never seen a fox like that in the road."

In 2012, 13 wild animals and 1 domestic animal were confirmed with rabies in Forsyth County.

The statement suggest parents teach their children to never approach, handle or feed unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.

Health officials are also reminding pet owner to keep your pet's rabies vaccinations up-to-date.  State law requires that any unvaccinated dog, cat or ferret that has had known or potential contact with a suspect/known rabid animal will have to be euthanized or quarantined for 6 months at the owner's expense, according to the release.

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