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Red fox population up

Staff writer

It may be fun at dawn or dusk to watch the antics of that playful red fox family living in the driveway culvert, but authorities warn residents not to get too friendly.

Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke said he has been in contact with a biologist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism about the number red foxes encroaching on residential areas.

“The biologist noted that Kansas is in an upward or high cycle with the red fox population at this time,” Burke said. “He expects it to go back down and level off in a year or two.”

Burke said that in the meantime, wildlife officials are warning people who experience red fox sightings not to try to tame them and keep them around.

“People really need to keep lids tight on trash receptacles,” he said. “And they should not be feeding pets outdoors where foxes and other wildlife will be attracted to the pet food.”

“People also need to know that it does no good to trap them and try to relocate them out in the country, away from the community. The red fox clan will return. Cutting off the food supply is the best way to ensure that they leave and stay gone,” he added.

Burke admits a red fox family can be cute and fun to watch, but they have the same kind of health issues as other wild animals.

“They get fleas and ticks. They can contract rabies or distemper just like any other animal,” he said. “People should never allow their children to try to tame them or treat them as pets.”

Burke also reminds that if any wild animal is behaving in an aggressive manner, especially in the middle of the day, adults should remove children and domestic animals from the area and call the police. Having domestic animals vaccinated against rabies and distemper is also important.

For more information, contact Peabody Police at (620) 983-2133.

Last modified May 24, 2012

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