Officials: Fox spotted on school grounds day before attack

Officials: Fox spotted on school grounds day before attack

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COVINGTON, Ga. -

The fox that bit two Newton County elementary school students while they played on the playground is still on the loose, and some parents at the school say they're upset. Animal control authorities tell FOX 5 that someone from Rocky Plains Elementary School reported a fox sighting on campus one day before the boys were attacked.

The victims are two 6-year-old boys, both of whom are kindergartners at the school and are also best friends.  They were attacked around lunchtime on Wednesday.  They're out of the hospital, and both are expected to be OK.

On Thursday, Newton County Animal Control told FOX 5's Chris Shaw that school officials called them on Tuesday to report a fox sighting.  That was one day before the two kindergartners were attacked.  And before animal control officers had a chance to follow up, the children were allowed back outside on Wednesday.

In regards to any prior fox sightings on the school's playground, a school representative told FOX 5 "I'm not going to be able to answer the last question due to possible litigation."

School officials have canceled all outdoor activities for the last two days of the school year-- Thursday and Friday-- following the attacks.

The parents of both boys tell FOX 5 they're frustrated.  Susan Wheeler says she was initially concerned about her son Scott's safety after he was bitten.  Now, she says, she's upset because the kids were let back outside after the initial sighting on Tuesday.  Shakira Mosely, the mother of the other child, Jayden, said she's angry as well.

Both of the boys' mothers said that it wasn't the first time that a fox had been seen on the playground.

"The staff knew the day before that there was a fox on the playground attacking a snake, and the kids saw the fox attacking the snake, and the staff saw it. So I just feel like they shouldn't have been allowed out on the playground," Wheeler said.

Scott Wheeler said that he now carries a stuffed lion because "lions eat foxes."

Both boys have been ordered to have three more rounds of painful rabies shots as a precaution just in case the fox is rabid.

The parents of the injured kids said that they now face thousands of dollars in medical costs. They said doctors told them that rabies treatment will cost around $30,000. The parents said they'll each end up paying around $10,000 in unreimbursed bills.

"I'm trying to see what the school's going to do. I'm going to give them a chance, and if they're not working with me, then I have to proceed with legal action," said Mosely.

"I'm not asking for pain and suffering, psychological damage -- I'm just asking for payment of what my insurance doesn't cover," Susan Wheeler said.

Animal control has set up traps all over the school campus, and they will leave them in place for a week in an attempt to catch the fox.

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