Washington security outfoxed by intruder

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The Independent US

Armed guards with dogs have spent the past four days searching the American Supreme Court building for an intruder – a fox that bypassed the unprecedented security measures introduced since 11 September.

Armed guards with dogs have spent the past four days searching the American Supreme Court building for an intruder – a fox that bypassed the unprecedented security measures introduced since 11 September.

The security alert was triggered after the animal was caught on closed-circuit television entering the building in central Washington on Sunday afternoon. It apparently sneaked in through an underground garage.

Security guards quickly sealed off the area, but animal control officers called in from the District of Columbia were unsuccessful, so the authorities decided there should be a real fox hunt. Two foxhounds and a border terrier were brought in, courtesy of a hunt club from a suburb of Virginia where the pursuit of the uneatable by the unspeakable is considered sport.

The dogs detected the fox's scent in the basement but soon lost it. Marble floors were apparently not conducive to tracking foxes, a court official said.

With no further sign of the fox, officers have now set humane traps.

Jim Monsma, a spokesman for the Washington Humane Society, said: "They are good at hiding. They can squeeze into amazingly small places. Foxes are pretty foxy."

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