Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke has issued a safety alert for the community regarding wild animals.
“As usual this time of year, wild animals are giving birth and coming out of hibernation,” he said. “We have had reports of people seeing animals during daylight hours that usually are nocturnal — only seen at night.
“We caution people to stay away from them and to encourage their children not to try and make friends with them either,” Burke said.
Burke is especially concerned about a possible increase in red fox sightings in the city limits.
“These are not pets,” he said. “They may look like puppies, and the litters may be fun to watch, but they are nocturnal and shouldn’t be out in the bright sunlight. If someone sees one that is acting funny or sick, they need to call us. Above all else, don’t go near them.
“Going through a series of rabies shots is not a fun experience,” he added.
Skunks, raccoons, and opossums also are nocturnal animals and daytime sightings might be cause for concern.
“This also is why we push so hard for people to get their pets vaccinated and keep the rabies shots current,” he said. “Without the shots, your pet could get into a fight with a wild animal and contract rabies.”
Peabody residents also are reminded not to try to shoot wild animals themselves.
“It is against the law for anyone to discharge a firearm in the city,” Burke said. “If you have an emergency with a wild animal, call 911. If it is not an emergency, call (620) 983-2133 and an officer will be there as soon as possible.”