An “aggressive fox” was captured on Capitol Hill on Tuesday after biting a US congressman and a reporter.
“We have received several reports of aggressive fox encounters on or near the grounds of the US Capitol,” the Capitol Police tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.
“For your safety, please do not approach any foxes,” the tweet warned. “Animal Control Officers are working to trap and relocate any foxes they find.”
Hours later, the police tweeted four pictures of a detained red fox, Xinhua news agency reported.
US Congressman Ami Bera of California was reportedly nipped on the leg by a fox on his way into the office on Monday.
“What does the fox say? Last night, I found out,” Bera joked in a tweet.
“Joking aside, animal bites are extremely serious,” he wrote Tuesday afternoon. “In the case of an encounter, please speak with a physician immediately.”
A spokesperson for Bera said the lawmaker went to Walter Reed Hospital on Monday night where he received shots for rabies and tetanus as well as immunoglobulins, “out of an abundance of caution.”
Political reporter Ximena Bustillo also revealed that she had been bitten.
“That feel when you get bit by a fox leaving Capitol cause that’s of course something I expect in THE MIDDLE OF DC,” Bustillo tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.
Senate Minority Leader and Republican Mitch McConnell was asked during a press conference if he’d seen the fox.
Red foxes are not uncommon in Washington, D.C., as Rock Creek Park is home to a number of mammals.
There are also numerous fox den sites on the National Mall but their locations may change from year to year, according to the National Parks Service.
Red foxes live throughout the continental US, though the foxes on the National Mall may spend their entire lives here, the agency noted.