Date: February 14, 2005 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Grady Judd
Media Contact:

Michal Shanley, (863) 534-6631 OR (863) 981-2375 Pager

PCSO Animal Control Investigating Fox Attack

Polk County Sheriff's Office Animal Control officers are investigating an incident that occurred this afternoon in which a 3-year-old Lakeland girl was attacked by a fox.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. this afternoon (Monday, Feb. 14, 2005) a 3-year-old girl - Savannah Baars, -was playing outside her residence located at 5771 Cherry Tree Drive in Lakeland, when a fox ran from behind the home (there is a wooded area in back of the home) and attacked the young girl.  The girl's father - Jeff Baars - was nearby and kicked the fox away from the girl. The fox started in the direction of the girl again, at which time the father picked up a car battery and killed the fox.

Family members took the girl to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where she was treated for scratches and abrasions on her arms and legs (there were no apparent puncture wounds). The body of the fox - described as a full grown adult, approximately 2 feet in length, and weighing 8 to 12 pounds - will be sent to a lab for testing to determine if the animal was carrying any diseases that might be harmful. The results may possibly be back as soon as tomorrow.

Distribution: Chief of Staff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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