POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- People in the area north of Poplar Bluff need to be on the lookout for wild animals that don't show fear of human beings.
Missouri conservation agent Frank Campa was attacked by a rabid fox last Friday and is undergoing a series of five rabies shots.
Campa said he received a call from the Sears Youth Center telling him there were two foxes acting funny, and one of them was chewing at a rope.
"I went to investigate," Campa said. Conservation agent John Pratt accompanied Campa to the area.
"I took a .22 rifle, just in case," Campa said, adding that when the agents arrived the maintenance staff were not at the building where they had reported the foxes.
"I heard some leaves out in front of me and heard a distant bark," Campa said, and "I walked to within five feet of the edge of the woods and an adult gray fox ran right out to me."
Campa said he fell down on the gravel trying to keep the fox away from him.
"I backhanded it with my fist and it was at my feet," he said. "Shooting it was not an option."
Campa finally managed to kick it in the head and jumped up on his feet when it was on him again and he kicked it again.
"It then ran underneath a truck to hide." Campa said. He shot the fox and took its head in for testing for rabies and was notified by noon Saturday that the fox was rabid.
"I was fortunate it never got hold of my arms," he said. "I did a good job keeping it away from me. I'm not sure if the marks on my hand are from the gravel or the fox."
He has received two shots in a series of five shots that will be completed by Oct. 13.
"I've been an agent for 17 years and have never dealt with or ever been bitten by a rabid animal," Campa said. "It's very uncommon to find a fox with rabies. It's more common with skunks and bats."