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Fox shot in runway disruption at MSP

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A brief flight delay at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Wednesday morning had nothing to do with snowstorms or terrorism. Blame the foxes.

Two of them were spotted on the airport grounds, and one happened to get too close to a runway. 

Airport spokesman Pat Hogan said a sharpshooter had to be summoned to kill the animal. 

Airport officials kept planes away from the runway for a couple minutes while they pursued the fox in the runway safety zone. Hogan said the other fox was seen leaving the area through the naval reserve aviation facility on the north side of the airport.

Hogan attributed the trespassing incident to the airport's close proximity to a state park and national wildlife refuge.

"We get a lot of animals that try to get into the airport, sometimes successfully," Hogan said, chuckling. "The gates will stop a vehicle but it won't necessarily stop an animal."

Foxes weren't the only animals causing Minnesota public safety officials to scramble on Wednesday. The State Patrol was called to Interstate 35E in downtown St. Paul Wednesday morning on reports of two dogs running south in the northbound lanes.

The dogs were off the road a few minutes later without incident.

(MPR's Tim Nelson contributed to this report.)