JACKSON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There was a fox attack on Sunday in a New Jersey town.
Officials said it was the second one in the neighborhood. The fox apparently came out of the woods and attacked a little girl while she played with friends in her yard.
The 4-year-old, named Lilleth, who was calmly picking flowers in her yard in Jackson Township, was recovering Monday following the terrifying attack, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported.
The animal was captured after it bit into the little girl’s leg.
“She ran and the fox just ran and she fell on the ground and it got her,” said Matthew Lawlor Nielsen, the little girl’s brother.
Matthew said he came running and jumped into action.
“I was slamming it off. After I got it off of her and so I still had it, holding it on a little, and mom came and put the basket on and said, ‘Sit on this,'” Matthew said.
A neighbor, Jessica Podlas, who ran outside to see what was happening, described how Matthew grabbed the fox with his bare hands.
“It was crazy to see him throwing it back and forth. Honestly, it looked like a ragamuffin, like a doll,” Podlas said.
The little girl’s mother had warned the kids about another fox attack in the neighborhood and told them to run inside if they saw one.
“I would probably be a basket case if I had to deal with what she dealt with, but she’s holding it together. I give her credit. She’s holding it together,” Podlas said.
And Matthew is now being hailed as a hero.
“The police said good job. The EMT said good job. Animal Control said good job,” he said.
The fox is now dead and is being tested for rabies. Officials said that could take a few days.
Police said there was another attack over the weekend, but could not confirm that it was the same fox.