New Hartford man attacked and bitten by a fox

A New Hartford man is recovering after he was reportedly bitten by a fox. It happened around 5 p.m. Monday on Pheasant Lane.

The man told police he was working in his yard when he felt an animal jump on him. The man says a gray-colored fox jumped onto his pants and was holding onto them by his teeth. The man spun around and was able to get the fox off. The man fell down and hurt his hand and both knees. The fox then attacked the man a second time, again holding onto his pants with its teeth. The man managed to shake the animal off of him again. The fox then wandered into a wooded area adjacent to the manâ??s yard.

When police arrived, the fox was spotted coming back toward the yard from the wooded area. Police shot the animal with a rifle. The fox then charged at the police officer. The officer was able to shoot the animal three more times, stopping and killing it about four feet from where the office was standing.

There is no word whether the animal had rabies, but police say whenever wild animals act out of character or become aggressive toward humans without provocation, they could be infected.

The manâ??s name is not being released at this time. He was treated at St. Lukeâ??s Hospital for his injuries and for possible exposure to the foxâ??s saliva. The man did not suffer any puncture wounds from the animalâ??s teeth.

Police shipped the animalâ??s remains to the State Health Department in Albany for testing. Results are expected sometime Wednesday afternoon.

People in the area are being advised to immediately report animals that are behaving abnormally or appear sick. Never approach an animal acting strangely.

Wild animals acting unusually could be suffering from rabies, mange, parasitic infestation, distemper, injury, may have been displaced from their den or may be protecting its young.