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Health agency was correct to euthanize baby fox

Natural Resources

A recent letter to the editor criticizes health officials for euthanizing that "dear baby fox" which was rescued by some misguided firemen ("Authorities too quick to kill rescued baby fox," May 7). Actually, the blame for that animal's death lies with the management of the fire department which failed to restrict the activities of firemen to that for which they are being paid — preventing and putting out fires. Anything else could be a dangerous and potentially deadly distraction.

In this case, the fire department also failed to give the appropriate response to the concerned citizen. The person concerned about the animal should have been advised that the appropriate contact would be the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. By contacting the DNR web site and clicking on "Wildlife problem? that person would have found a list of dozens of licensed wildlife control operators in each county. These professionals have the equipment and knowledge that would have resulted in a happy ending for the baby fox with a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

As to the health department's actions, they were strictly by the book. They were designed to save human life. No chances are taken when dealing with a deadly and irreversible disease like rabies. They know that the disease can be transmitted through the smallest undetectable lesion. Personally, I prefer taking no chances with those misguided firemen's lives even if it requires the sacrifice of one cute baby bunny killer.

Robert L. Dunker Jr., Catonsville

The writer is a DNR wildlife control operator.

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