Fox sightings not always a cause for concern

Foxes sighted in daylight, or in urban and suburban settings are not necessarily rabid or dangerous, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

Residents should still take action to avoid conflict with these common animals. Simply seeing a fox is not typically a cause for alarm. In most cases, people who merely see a fox do not need to take action.

However, nobody should approach a fox or fox den, even if they see harmless. Do not approach, touch or feed the fox or its pups. Feeding them will habituate them to people and may lead to aggression.

Action might be necessary in situations where foxes have become habituated to people. In those cases, people can and should take steps, such as yelling, banging pots and pans and setting off legal fireworks, to chase foxes from yards and neighborhoods. Be aggressive and repeat these actions if the foxes do not leave.

To prevent problems with any type of wildlife:

• Don’t feed wild animals — they can lose their fear of people.  

• Make sure you are not indirectly feeding wildlife by cleaning up pet food, securing trash in an animal-proof container, keeping barbecue grills clean and removing bird feeders.

• Establish protective barriers to keep wildlife from entering basements, crawl spaces, attics and beneath decks, where they might build nests or dens.

• Secure pets or keep them indoors. Dogs can disturb dens, prompting aggressive behavior from the foxes.

• Clear overhanging tree limbs or other means of access that wildlife can use to enter a structure.

• Clear fallen fruit from around trees.

• Annually inspect property to identify food problems and other areas that need to be fixed before an issue begins.

• Encourage neighbors to use these same methods.

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