FREEPORT — Three people were hospitalized recently following multiple attacks by a gray fox in the gated community of Windswept Estates.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers were called to Sacred Heart Hospital in Miramar Beach on May 29, where three people were being treated for fox bites, according to an incident summary report from the FWC.
The first two victims, a married couple from Freeport, said they were riding in a golf cart about 2 p.m. when they saw a gray fox prancing down the golf cart trail toward them.
The fox crawled under the golf cart and started scratching around. The man said he started yelling at the fox and it came from under the cart and attacked him, the report said.
He tried to hit the fox with a golf club, but missed and the fox either bit or scratched his left calf. His wife then got out of the cart and hit the fox across the back with a golf club.
The fox bit the woman on the left leg just above the knee. The couple got the fox off her and she hit the fox again on the left front leg.
The fox ran away toward Windswept Boulevard, the report said.
Another man also was at Sacred Heart after he was bitten the same day, according to the report. That man said he was driving down Windswept Boulevard about 4 p.m. with his wife when they saw what appeared to be a dead fox on the side of the road.
He got out of his vehicle and reached out to the fox with his right hand. When he got close the fox jumped up and bit his wrist.
The victim said he shook the fox free and it chased him to his vehicle. He kicked the fox and made it back into his car.
He said the fox sat in the road before it ran into the woods. The victim was bitten numerous times on his right wrist, the report said.
Both couples said the fox was not acting unusual or foaming at the mouth.
FWC officers searched for the fox on Windswept Boulvard until about 9 p.m., when they finally saw a gray fox step out onto the road. Officers shot and killed the fox, put it in a plastic bag and sent it off for rabies testing.
The report did not say whether the fox had rabies or not.