An Adorable But Aggressive Fox Menaced The US Senate Before Being Caught By Animal Control

The fox was caught Tuesday after one member of Congress and a journalist reported being bitten by the animal.

US Capitol Police

An adorable but increasingly aggressive fox roaming Capitol Hill was trapped on Tuesday after legislators, reporters, and passersby reported some violent skirmishes with the animal.

Reporters and politicians had captured video and pictures of their close encounters with the red fox this week, sharing them on Twitter. But after the fox aggressively approached several people, warnings were issued to legislators and staffers on the Hill Tuesday morning, urging people to keep their distance.

At least one legislator, Rep. Ami Bera from California, and a journalist with Politico reported being bitten by the fox.

Several people shared images of the fox in the area of the Senate on Monday and Tuesday:

Capitol fox on the run. Video of the Capitol fox, captured by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) early one morning at the foot of Capitol Hill on the Senate side.

Twitter: @ChadPergram

Spotted outside the Capitol: a red fox. I was sitting at a gazebo outside the Russell Senate Office building when this little one came trotting up. Then galloped after a squirrel

Twitter: @mikemacagnone

Capitol fox currently in lower senate park

Twitter: @billclarkphotos

A few of the encounters prompted an alert to workers on the Hill that the animal was aggressive. US Capitol Police on Tuesday morning also reported that animal control officers were on the grounds looking for the fox.

We have received several reports of aggressive fox encounters on or near the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. For your safety, please do not approach any foxes. Animal Control Officers are working to trap and relocate any foxes they find.

Twitter: @CapitolPolice
Twitter: @DougAndres

By then, Bera confirmed that he had been bitten by a fox and had to take a series of shots as a precaution against rabies.

Bera told reporters he had been bitten Monday night in an "unprovoked" attack and had used his umbrella to scare away the fox.

Rep. Ami Bera confirms he was BIT by the Senate fox last night He described attack, which occurred near Russell building, as “unprovoked” “I didn’t see it and all of a sudden I felt something lunge at the back of my leg,” Bera said. “I jumped and got my umbrella,” he continues

Twitter: @heatherscope

Politico reporter Ximena Bustillo also reported being bitten by the fox Tuesday on Twitter.

By 3:30 p.m. local time, the US Capitol Police confirmed the fox had been captured.

Twitter: @CapitolPolice

A spokesperson for the Capitol Police told BuzzFeed News it would be up to animal control to decide what to do with the animal.

On Wednesday, DC Health confirmed the fox had been euthanized so as to perform a test for rabies that later came back positive.

"DC Health is contacting all human victims who were bitten by the fox," the agency said in a statement. "Animal control will post informational flyers around Capitol Hill advising of the fox’s positive rabies status and encouraging people who might have been exposed to call DC Health."

The fox was an adult female and her litter of kits were also captured on Wednesday, DC Health said.

On Thursday, the agency announced the kits, too, had been euthanized due to their suspected exposure to rabies.