NewsSoutheast Valley NewsApache Junction News


Tonto National Forest warns of fox attacking hikers in the Superstitions

Posted at 5:03 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 00:29:51-05

Authorities have posted signs warning hikers of an aggressive fox that attacked two groups of people over the weekend.

A notice posted to trails in and around the Superstition wilderness warns hikers a fox approached hikers on November 17 and bit them near First Water Trail and Massacre Trail on the western side of the mountain range.

Tonto National Forest officials believe the fox to be rabid due to its aggressiveness, but the Arizona Game and Fish Department said its officers were unable to locate the animal and as a result unable to determine if it was infected with rabies.

Game and Fish spokesperson Bill Andres said the attacks were about two hours and two-tenths of a mile apart, leading experts to believe the same fox is responsible for both.

Data from the Arizona Department of Health Services say 51 wild foxes have tested positive for rabies through the end of October, tied with bats for the most in the state. 

When out hiking, never pick up, touch or feed wild or unfamiliar animals, even if they do not appear sick or aggressive. 

State wildlife officials ask anyone out and about to report erratic or aggressive behavior by wild animals by calling the Arizona Game and Fish Department at 623-236-7201.