Local News

Fox attacks Wake Forest teen

Posted September 24, 2009

— A 13-year-old boy was attacked by a fox on Monday afternoon in a wooded area in the Twin Creeks community in Wake Forest.

Jesse Frutiger said he was in the woods when the animal approached him and immediately started hissing. He said he threw a rock at the fox and that’s when the animal lunged at him.

“It actually jumps through two trees and latches onto my hand and it’s just sitting there, biting my hand,” Frutiger said of the incident.

Fox, rabid animal Wake Forest teen bit by fox

Frutiger says he managed to kick the fox away, but not before he was bitten on his hand and upper leg.

Frutiger’s family believes the animal was a silver or gray fox.

Jesse's mom, Erika Frutiger, said it wasn't the first fight that day with the animal. The family dog, Bella, was the first victim.

Erika Frutiger said she saw the fox and the dog in the grass fighting.

Jesse Frutiger is now receiving a series of nine shots because the family wasn't sure if the fox was rabid. Bella received a rabies booster shot.

And as for walks in the woods, the Frutigers stick together and won't stray too far from home.

“We don’t let the dog run anymore. We don’t go back there ourselves,” Erika Frutiger said.

Wake County Animal Control said it doesn't receive many fox calls, though there has been a slight increase this year.

In July, a Raleigh man was attacked by a rabid fox along Chesterfield Road. Scott Thompson said he had to fight the animal off with a bat.

Though he was not scratched or bitten, Thompson still had to get shots to be safe.

Earlier that same day, a dog just down the road was chased by a strange acting fox.

Wildlife officials say if you see an animal you think is sick, call your local animal control.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • cq2627 Sep 25, 2009

    Longshanks, once I encountered a raccoon that was staggering around in my yard. I called the Dept. of Wildlife and said, "There's a wild animal in my yard. It may be rabid. What should I do, throw a rock at it?" The Wildlife guy said, "Hang on, I've got a knuckle-dragging bumpkin on the other line. I'll ask his advice, then get back to you." Okay, that's not really how the conversation went. What he did say was: Stay away from the animal. Do not antagonize or provoke it. Bring your children and pets inside. Pretty sound advice, I'd say. But, go ahead and try it your way - see if you don't get the same result as Jesse. Be smart, though, and get your rabies shot beforehand. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a poker game to attend.

  • tommy69 Sep 25, 2009

    I like the part about calling animal control as the neighborhood I live in also has a fox the roams wherever it wishes ,and I called AC about this and they could care less, just don't let your pet get loose as they will pick them up and hold them hostage faster than you know whats going on.

    So just to summarize this, Animal control is a joke as far as wild creatures are concerned.

  • Professor Sep 25, 2009


  • jkca Sep 25, 2009

    Longshanks, I totally agree with you. I wouldn't have turned my back on a hissing fox, most likely rabid. The following is a piece of the article written about the rabid fox attacking a jogger in Arizona last year:

    Although it did not initially appear aggressive, the animal attacked her feet as she backed away, before moving up towards her knee.

    No rock throwing for this woman, all she did was back away and the fox still attacked.

  • Longshanks Sep 25, 2009

    "Throwing a rock at a wild animal, sick or otherwise, is most definitely the wrong thing to do - evidently."

    So, when confronted with a fox that's acting strange and may be infected with rabies, with no other protection, what would you do? Try to talk it out of biting you? I'm sure that would work. And what if he hissed at you and walked towards you? Would you try to get him to leave you alone? What would YOU use, your man purse?

  • ArkAngels Sep 25, 2009

    I agree, this kid should not have been in the woods or his backyard knowing that there was a fox in the area as his dog had already been in a fight with one. He was asking for trouble.

    I know we have fox and coyote in my area and even though my yard is fenced in, I always check the backyard before going out, especially at night. I also do not let my dog go out in the fenced in backyard unattended either.

    Even though I have had the pre-exposure rabies series and my titer is good and my dog is up to date on her shots, I still do not want to take any chances. This kid should not have either.

  • cq2627 Sep 25, 2009

    Longshanks, you're wrong when you say, "Jesse did nothing wrong." Throwing a rock at a wild animal, sick or otherwise, is most definitely the wrong thing to do - evidently.

  • Longshanks Sep 25, 2009

    Come on people. I know this kid and his family, and their house is surrounded by woods. He was playing in his BACK YARD, and the fox approached HIM. He thought this strange, as would I, and picked up a rock and threw it at him to scare him away. Unfortunately, the rock hit the fox and he went nuts. Now, when is the last time a fox approached YOU and you just blew it off? Jesse did nothing wrong, and a fox that attacks a human is sick, and I'd almost guarantee that. It's not normal behavior for foxes to even approach humans, as they can smell you and hear you before you even know they're there. So stop judging this 13 year old kid who tried to shoo off a crazy fox and got bitten. Heck, I'd have done the same thing, as I've lived in the country on a farm my whole life and know that foxes don't act this way unless they are sick. And if I would have had a pistol, DEAD FOX. No doubt about rabies then.

  • what the........ Sep 25, 2009

    True about the coyotes in WF. I saw where some vehicle had hit one on the bypass and it layed there for a few days.

  • Crumps Br0ther Sep 25, 2009

    I blame the economy times are hard for every thing!