95-year-old Maine man kills rabid fox with broken wooden plank

A 95-year-old Maine man received a surprise when attempting to fix his deck: an encounter with a rabid fox.

Robert Galen of Brunswick, Maine, told the Portland Press Herald he was repairing his deck when he walked around the house to get more supplies. After reaching down to pick up a broken plank, he looked up and saw a fox standing two feet away, staring him down.

Galen said before the fox could strike, he hit it over the head with the plank. State officials removed the dead fox, and Maine's Center for Disease Control confirmed the animal tested positive for rabies.

"I've had fox around here, but I've never had an experience like this," Galen told the Boston Globe.

According to the Press Herald, Galen was the third person to encounter a rabid fox in the Brunswick area in the past 10 days. On June 17, two residents were attacked by a fox that was later killed by a police officer.

Galen said he had heard earlier reports about rabid foxes in the area, prompting him to strike the animal before it had a chance to attack.

"I really want to emphasize that I was really relieved that the animal was indeed rabid," he told the Globe. "I felt badly about killing it."

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