Folks were sure excited about the possibilities, but the strange animal that was trapped last week has been identified by a Maryland Department of Natural Resources official as a fox with mange.
“Like all wild animals, especially canine species, people should avoid feeding or otherwise attempting to befriend this critter,” said Paul Peditto, director of DNR’s Wildlife and Heritage Service. “Mange affects a portion of most wild fox populations and is often unpleasant to observe but not something to be otherwise alarmed about or requiring additional human intervention.”
The fox was spotted in the woods near Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly. Last Thursday, several hospital workers lured it into a trap using food. The footage was then aired on local television and caused quite a stir.
Mange is a skin condition in mammals caused by the mange mite. Symptoms include hair loss, skin wrinkling and formation of scabs.
DNR’s Game Program Manager Peter Jayne added that while humans can get mange from coming in contact with infected animals, such cases are extremely rare.
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