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Fox mistaken for bobcat forces school lockdown

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Updated: 9/17/2013 1:07 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Palm Beach Post)-- A report of a bobcat sighting at Grove Park Elementary school led a brief lockdown Monday — and, minutes later, the discovery that the beast was merely a fox.

A school district spokesman confirmed the sighting around 10 a.m.and said a private trapper was tracking the animal. By 10:20 a.m., the animal was cornered.

Bobcats can grow to 15 to 20 pounds, standing up to 2 feet tall. They typically hunt at night, but it’s common to see them during the day because they rarely sleep. They typically eat small mammals such as squirrels, rabbits and raccoons, and have a natural fear of people, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

“They’re very shy and reclusive. The only time there would be a concern is if there was rabies,” said Carli Segelson, FWC spokeswoman.

Full grown foxes are just slightly smaller than a large bobcat. There was no word on whether the fox was in anyway sick.

Rabies cases have been reported near the school, including a Lake Park cat colony Palm Beach County is trying to capture.

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