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5 kids bitten by fox in Lakewood, New Jersey

A possibly rabid fox bit five kids in Lakewood, NJ this week and may have attacked a sixth child, according to officials and reports.

The scary string of incidents unfolded Tuesday at a playground in John Street Park in the central New Jersey town and in several backyards, the Ocean County Health Department said.

A 5-year-old boy on the playground was bitten around 10 a.m., 6ABC reported, citing police reports. Another child was pounced on at their home but escaped unhurt, while a different family told cops three kids were bitten in their yard.

Just before 7 p.m., an 8-year-old boy was also bitten on the playground, according to Patch.

At least one kid got rabies shots and one was treated at a local hospital and released. Authorities have not released information on the injuries, and Lakewood Police did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Animal control is searching for the fox, a spokesman for the Ocean County Health Department said.

Locals are so freaked out by the kid-chomping animal attacks they’re scrambling to get home before dark so they don’t become fodder for the fox, one area pastor told The Post.

Two of the kids were bitten by the fox at the playground in John Street Park.
Two of the kids were bitten by the fox at the playground in John Street Park.

Parishioners at Greater Bethel Church of God, just around the corner from John Street Park, are nervous because the attacks took place in an area where so many families and children gather, and where the church hosts its barbecues.

“That’s very alarming because you have so many children out there and that’s terrible when the kids get attacked or get hurt,” said Rev. John Jones. “Anything can happen.”

The animal or animals may still be on the loose, said Daniel Regenye, Ocean County’s public health coordinator.

At least one of the kid was given a rabies shot and treated at a hospital.
At least one of the kid was given a rabies shot and treated at a hospital.

“There is the possibility they would still be roaming,” he said.

A day earlier, another New Jersey fox reportedly attacked two people and a dog at Double Trouble State Park, about 20 minutes south of the heavily Orthodox community of Lakewood. The Monday attack in the 8,000-acre park prompted official to shut down the green space for at least three days.

A dead fox was found this week in the park and later tested positive for rabies but officials don’t believe it was the same animal responsible for Monday’s attack.

Regenye said that there have been seven documented cases of rabies in animals so far this year in Ocean County: the dead fox, three bats, two cats and a raccoon. There were 17 cases for all of 2021.

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