Without a trace: Virginia Beach Animal Control ends fox search empty-handed

Virginia Beach Animal Control’s three-day search for a fox that attacked two in a park has ended without any sightings, and officials do not expect there to be any more.

Animal Enforcement Unit Supervisor Meghan Conti said Great Neck Park reopened Wednesday and searches for the likely ill fox have been called off. Enough time had passed that the animal likely died from whatever disease – maybe rabies – that probably caused it to attack two people on Sunday, she said.

The fox bit a city employee in the early morning Sunday and a walker around noon that day. The incidents forced the cancellation of youth baseball games in the area and closed the park as officials looked for the fox through Tuesday.

They never saw it and likely never will, Conti said, because “most foxes with those symptoms succumb to their illness within days.”

Conti could not say whether any disease from the fox, such as rabies, would be likely to spread among area wildlife.

There were 12 reported cases of rabies among Virginia Beach animals last year, according to the city’s health department. Conti said there have been “one or two” this year.

Wildlife is a “perk” at many of the city’s parks, Conti said, but one that should be enjoyed from a distance. For safety reasons, people should never engage or feed wild animals, she said.

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