Any rabid animal -- like this fox -- is nothing to mess with ... but the woman it attacked is no slouch either, as this surveillance video shows her putting up one hell of a fight and likely saving her life.
The wild incident went down in July in Ithaca, NY ... you can see the fox doesn't even hesitate as it sneaks up on her as she's chatting on the phone in her yard, and starts chomping on her leg nonstop.
She gives the animal a powerful kick, launching it into the air, but it doesn't give up ... eventually clamping its jaws down on her hand and doesn't let go while she tries to shake it off. A neighbor eventually shows up and scares it away.
Her hand seemingly got the worst of it, as these gnarly pics after the attack show. She must've gotten some extremely painful rabies shots, too.
According to her husband, who uploaded the video, the fox attempted to do the same to someone else nearby, but it was killed ... the body was taken to the vet lab at Cornell University, where they discovered rabies was in its system.
Rabies is no joke when it comes to animals attacking humans ... a bobcat was hurled across a lawn last year in North Carolina -- it was shot and later died, testing positive for rabies.