Virginia Beach woman attacked by aggressive fox, treated for rabies shares ordeal


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A jogger who was attacked by a fox this week in Virginia Beach is sharing details from her ordeal. 

On Thursday, city officials said they found a rabid fox near the same area where the woman was hurt. 

10 On Your Side spoke with the woman who says she was bitten. 

It’s not clear if the fox that tested positive for rabies is the same one that attacked the jogger, but she did receive the rabies vaccine and other shots just to be safe. 

Nina James Houseman said it’s an experience she never imagined going through. 

“I thought how many times do I have to kick this fox before he’s going to stop,” James Houseman said. 

On Tuesday , like so many times before, James Houseman started her early morning jog on the bike path through the Cape Story by the Sea neighborhood.  

“I could see a silhouette down the path,” she said.  

James Houseman thought it was a cat but seconds later, she realized it was a fox coming straight for her. That’s when her run took a wild turn.  

“He was on me. I ended up kicking him like hard. He was getting airborne when I was kicking him,” she said.  

James Houseman said the fox bit her on the back of her thigh. 

“I could feel him hanging on me as I was like turning,” she said. “He would end up on the side of the path, but he would just keep coming at me and I’d have to kick him and he’d come and I’d kick him, like 6 or 8 times. I mean it was a lot.” 

The fox finally stopped and James Houseman ran to a nearby shopping center. She went to the hospital for treatment and posted on social media to warn neighbors.  

She said she wasn’t the only one who encountered a fox recently.   

“There was gentleman who was riding his bicycle down the path. He goes ‘the fox chased me on my bicycle,’” James Houseman said. 

City officials said they found a fox on Maple Street the same day James Houseman was attacked. That animal tested positive for rabies.  

“It’s likely that it was my fox but we can’t know it for sure,” James Houseman said. 

Despite the attack, James Houseman said she won’t stop running here.  

“I have traveled these trails and been in the park and down this trail many, many times and everything has always been fine,” she said. “I did buy the pepper spray, but I might also get one of those retractable batons.” 

James Houseman will be receiving several rounds of shots but otherwise, she’s OK.  

The city says if you or anyone in your home, including pets, has had any exposure to stray or wild animals in this area within the past few weeks, call your doctor. You can also call the health department at 757-518-2700 between 8:15 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mon. – Fri.  

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