There's a newcomer to Capitol Hill and he's striking fear in the hearts of squirrels and politicians alike.
The Capitol Hill fox, as he's been dubbed, has been spotted on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in recent weeks, and he's become a social media star.
Both tourists and White House staffers have tweeted updates about the fox's escapades, and he's a regular on Instagram and Vine, where you can see him napping on the West Lawn and even taking down a squirrel.
There’s an incredibly relaxed red fox laying out on the Capitol lawn right now pic.twitter.com/TY2n9wdhva— EG (@eGildenblatt) January 12, 2014
Aaaaaand it just brutalized a squirrel— EG (@eGildenblatt) January 12, 2014
Naturally, the Capitol Hill fox has his own Twitter account.https://twitter.com/CapitolHillFox/status/425678510116462592 The Washington Post recently wrote about the critter with the headline "Capitol Hill fox could be dangerous" and quoted Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), a veterinarian.
"I'd advise my colleagues and visitors to the Capitol grounds to avoid going near or touching the fox if they spot it, as it could have rabies," Schrader said. "On second thought, it's possible that it may have bitten some of my colleagues. That explains a lot."
D.C. Department of Health spokesperson Najma Roberts told The Huffington Post that Animal Control would be setting traps for the fox so the animal could be examined.
The National Park Service doesn't keep track of how many foxes live in the city, but Park Ranger Mary Willeford Bair says there are more foxes in the area than you'd expect.
"We seldom have issues with foxes at National Mall and Memorial Parks," Willeford told the DCist. "The only one we had problems with during the past seven years of my being in D.C. was one that had been fed by people. The animal had lost fear of people and was even begging for food. It is illegal to feed animals in a national park."
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