EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - A fox sighting in Easthampton has raised rabies concerns among some neighbors there, following a fox biting incident in Westfield Monday.
"I was taking a left onto Golden Drive and my wife saw a fox running down the road," said longtime Easthampton resident Richard Sadlowski whose wife saw a fox early Thursday morning.
Sadlowski's wife's sighting is the second in the area this week. Last Monday, a fox bit three children in Westfield, the kids are now undergoing treatment.
"She said it was multiple colors, we've had bears here, which I think are probably more dangerous than a fox," said Sadlowski outside his Outlook Drive home.
One Willow Circle resident sent pictures of the wild animal to 22News saying she was afraid to let her dog out. Other neighbors spotted the fox going through gardens.
"This morning I was looking out the kitchen window and what I saw was this fox doing just that, squatting in the yard and kind of moving through the bushes," said Willow Circle resident Bill Phelps.
MassWildlife experts reviewed the photos and separated myth from facts. Laura Hajduk told 22News foxes tend to be nocturnal animals, but they also roam during the day. Hajduk said the fox in question doesn't appear to be rabid but does have mange, a common skin disease caused by mites.
Hajduk said you can tell a fox is rabid if it bites inanimate objects like car tires or people; as last Monday's biting incident in Westfield, is also behavior associated with animals infected with rabies.
"My kids are 8 and 10 so they are a little bit older than I think the kids were in Westfield, but just to be careful if they saw anything to not go near it," said Jessica Heber of Easthampton.
And according to Hadjuk, that's the best advice, if you see a fox in your yard do not approach it. Also, not putting out bird-feed can help keep them away.