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Gaunt, Pale Fox Sightings in Quincy Spark Concern and Speculation, Evade Capture

They're not chupacabras — the foxes are likely suffering from mange, animal control officials said

A series of diseased fox sightings throughout Quincy, Massachusetts, over the past two months has prompted concern from residents, many of whom have snapped photos of the gaunt, pale creatures.

The sightings, which started in July, have also been captured on video, igniting a flurry of speculation on social media.

"It's a chupacabra," one person jokingly wrote on Facebook, referring to the mythical creature.

The foxes that have been sighted are likely suffering from mange, a skin disease caused by parasitic mites, the Quincy Animal Control Department said. The agency said each time it has sent an officer to capture one of the animals, it has run off.

It's unclear how many foxes are suffering in Quincy.

Any foxes that are captured would be taken to wildlife veterinarian Greg Mertz's clinic. He suspected mange as well.

"It is fatal when it's out of control, especially the levels that I'm seeing in the photos," Mertz said. "Those look like soon-to-be or come-to-be fatal" cases.

Mange outbreaks usually end when the foxes that contracted the disease die off.

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