The North Central Health District is warning people to beware of rabid wild animals, especially foxes.
They say in the past two weeks, one fox tested positive for rabies and two others were acting strangely and euthanized, but were not tested.
Earlier in the year...there was a fox sighting in a neighborhood near the Mercer campus.
It came out of nowhere.
"He was brown and black," says Glenda Taylor who lives in the neighborhood.
"Tail and all it was maybe 2.5 ft long, not very big, about 8 to 10 lbs," says Macon Police Lt. Jimmy Barbee.
"He just stayed with his head down and kept going like he was catching for breath, just coming down the street," says Taylor.
The fox roamed the streets near the Mercer campus one day back in January but something wasn't right.
"It came at me, but it was walking sideways. And I backed up and I realized he wasn't going to stop so I fired one time and I hit him," says Barbee.
"He laid there for about 5 to 10 minutes and then he jumped up again like he wasn't dead, gasping for breath," says Taylor.
That's when Barbee shot the fox a second time. The animal appeared to be rabid but was never tested.
The health district advises people to:
• Have your pets vaccinated against rabies
Taylor, who saw the animal near her house, described the moment as a terror.
• Not feed or handle wild animals
• Avoid stray animals
• Bat proof your home
• Teach children not to approach wild animals or stray cats and dogs
"It was horrifying because this is my son," as she points to her 5-yo. "He'll be outside playing. And the fox...we didn't know what it was. It was coming out like it was sick and we're telling all the kids to get back," says Taylor.
A news release says a west Bibb County resident was charged by a fox last Friday, June 22, and bitten.
The fox was shot and killed and the person is now getting rabies shots.
Rabies can be treated by shots, the authorities say, but will be fatal if untreated.
So they're telling people to avoid animals acting strangely, especially in the daylight hours. The animals most likely to carry rabies include skunks, foxes, bats and raccoons, but dogs and cats can also be rabid.