EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 11, 2014

Fox attacks Derry girl, 5, at park

Second attack in two days

DERRY — A fox attacked a 5-year-old Derry girl yesterday afternoon at the Don Ball Park on Humphrey Road, biting her on the ankle, according to police.

An extensive search by police, assisted by New Hampshire Fish and Game agents, located the fox in a wooded area off of Cemetery Road. The animal was euthanized after its capture.

This marked the second complaint of a fox attack in town over the past two days. On Wednesday night, police responded to a report of an aggressive animal on Schuman Drive.

“The reporting person stated that she observed a fox that was circling her 9-year-old son as he played in their back yard,” according to a statement by the Derry Police Department issued last night.

“The boy ran toward his house and the fox chased him, knocking him to the ground. His mother threw something at the fox and it backed off only to chase her and her son again as they headed toward their house. The woman swung a shovel at the fox and it ran off into the nearby bushes. Neither person was injured in this incident. Officers checked the area but could not locate the animal,” police said.

During yesterday’s search for the fox, police issued a public safety announcement to residents of Schurman Drive, Cemetery Road, Dexter Street, South Main Street and the area around the Don Ball Park on Humphrey Road. They also closed Don Ball Park and all outside areas of the West Running Brook School and Derry Village School during the search. Those areas were later re-opened.

“Derry police are recommending that residents be attentive to their children and pets when outdoors,” police said in a statement issued last night.

“Wildlife is often spotted in Derry. They typically avoid contact with people and it is best to keep a safe distance from them as well,” police said.

Police urged that anyone who observes a fox or other animal behaving aggressively or attempting to approach people or pets to go indoors and contact Derry Animal Control.

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