An elderly Maine man is recovering after being attacked by a rabid fox in his driveway in Bath. Last week's attack is the second time 88-year-old Norman Kenney had an encounter with a rabid animal in the last four months.
Last Friday, Kenney was outside, closing up his garage, when he called to what he thought was his cat to come back inside.
"I realized it was a fox," Kenney said, describing the moment before he was knocked to the ground and attacked in the face by the fox.
"It didn't take long for that fox to get on me," he said. "I think he jumped up and got my eye, gnawed my glasses off."
For 12-15 minutes, Kenney battled with the fox while calling for help and multiple people drove by without noticing him.
It wasn't until a young jogger who lives down the street from Kenney stopped was able to wrangle the fox off.
"He came over and I said, 'Put your foot right on his back,'" Kenney recalled.
It was a technique Kenney knew to try because he'd been attacked last September by another rabid fox, which he was able to subdue.
More Recent Rabies News From Maine
Bath police said they have had 17 confirmed rabid animal cases in the past calendar year.
The police department, which oversees the city animal control officer and responds to many rabies 911 calls, said the problem is worst in the city's South End.
"We've been trying to educate the public how to stay safe," Bath Dep. Police Chief Andrew Booth said. "This is an abnormal amount of positive test results, at least in my past 18 years."
After the latest exposure in the past week, police are once again warning residents to be vigilant, to carry pepper spray, keep an eye on children and pets and keep dogs leashed.
"I don't let my dog out of my sight," said resident Samantha Morang, who was playing with her dog at a park in the South End. "Just the idea that she gets attacked, bitten would be so traumatizing."
Maine officials say anyone who thinks they see a rabid animal or is attacked by one should call 911 immediately.